A Model to Evaluate the Flow of an Emergency Department

A Model to Evaluate the Flow of an Emergency Department

M. C.J. Schnellen (University of Twente, The Netherlands)
Copyright: © 2008 |Pages: 6
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-889-5.ch113
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Little is published about generic models that describe the physic and information process of an emergency department. This paper expounds the development of a general model which describes the current physic and information processes of an emergency department and it is based on observations of emergency departments in The Netherlands and the United States. This model can be of great value for the management of an emergency department, since it is useful to first analyze to current situation before improving organizational processes (Daft, 2000). The main purpose of this paper is formulated as ‘The creation of a model which can evaluate the physic and information flow of an emergency department by using literature and emergency department observations.’ In this research is investigated if it is possible to develop this kind of model. And if this is possible, then how can this model be used to compare the physic and information flows for different emergency departments. This research is defined inside one of the projects of the department Organizations, Operations and Human resources of the University of Twente. This is a four-year project on the emergency department of a large hospital in The Netherlands, leaded by ir. R. J. Rosmulder and guided by prof. dr. ir. J.J. Krabbendam. The project includes the improvement of organizational processes at this emergency department by using business theories in order to develop new ways of controlling the organizational processes of the emergency department.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Physic Flow: The flow of the patient and the employees, devices, and rooms needed during the input-throughput-output process.

Process Model: A well-known term in process engineering. It is a model that shows the process that can help, but is not limited to evaluating or (re-)designing a process.

Emergency Room: The space within an emergency room where immediate urgent care is delivered to patients needing urgent and trauma care.

Healthcare: The service that treats and promotes the well-being of a human being. It contains, but is not limited to, prevention, diagnostics, treatment, and therapeutic and palliative care.

Urgent Patients: Patients who need monitoring and specialized care, which will be determined by triage.

Information Flow: The flow of the information needed during the input-throughput-output process.

Trauma Patients: Patients who need immediate care, monitoring, and multiple specialists. This group doesn’t see the triage at all.

Fast-Track Patients: Are patients who don’t need urgent care and don’t need devices like monitors in their treatment rooms.

Emergency Department: A department within a hospital where immediate urgent care is delivered to patients needing noncritical, urgent, and trauma care.

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