Improving the Efficiency of an Emergency Department

Improving the Efficiency of an Emergency Department

Vincent Omachonu (Department of Industrial Engineering, College of Engineering, University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL, USA) and Howard Gitlow (Department of Management Science, School of Business Administration, University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL, USA)
Copyright: © 2013 |Pages: 18
DOI: 10.4018/ijide.2013100102
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“Voice of the Stakeholder” data collected from Patients and Hospital Administrators showed that both groups believe that “time to see a doctor” is the most critical metric in an Emergency Department (ED). Further research determined that controlling “inpatient bed assignments” was the most critical in-process variable to effect the “time to see a doctor.” This paper reports a dramatic reduction in the average time a patient waits to see a doctor in an Emergency Department, as well as improvements in other key metrics.
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A project team was formed to improve the functioning of the ED in a South Florida hospital. The team consisted of representatives from the following departments: ED Medical Director, Director of ED, Triage Nurses, Registration Clerks, Radiology Staff, Information Desk Staff, Fast-Track ED Staff, Inpatient Bed Control, Information Systems, and Transportation Services.

The team developed a plan for collecting “Voice of the Stakeholder” data, as well as other data, for a Quality Function Deployment (QFD) process as follows:

  • 1.

    Identification of ED stakeholders segments

  • 2.

    Defining stakeholder requirements for each stakeholder segment

  • 3.

    Importance of each requirement to each stakeholder segment

  • 4.

    Stakeholder ratings for each requirement for each stakeholder segment

  • 5.

    Data on the performance of each technical requirement for each competitor for each stakeholder segment

  • 6.

    Improvement objectives for each stakeholder requirement for each stakeholder segment

  • 7.

    Sales point for each stakeholder requirement, that is, what level of performance is needed by our ED to obtain competitive advantage over other EDs in our area due to this technical requirement

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