Re­mem­ber who the ED is re­ally de­signed for

Modern Healthcare - - COMMENT -

Re­gard­ing “Bet­ter ED ef­fi­ciency a win-win in chang­ing health­care en­vi­ron­ment” (ModernHealth­, Aug. 7), bet­ter com­mu­ni­ca­tion is al­ways a good thing, but these per­for­mance im­prove­ments are hardly in­no­va­tive. What is in­no­va­tive is mak­ing sure that emer­gency de­part­ment pa­tients re­quire emer­gent care, and if not, to pro­vide them with real-time al­ter­na­tives. For that to hap­pen, Emer­gency Med­i­cal Treat­ment and La­bor Act med­i­cal screen­ing must hap­pen be­fore the pa­tient crosses the ED thresh­old.

If the pa­tient doesn’t re­quire emer­gent care, in­no­va­tive or­ga­ni­za­tions are able to re­di­rect pa­tients to more ap­pro­pri­ate venues on their cam­pus, in hos­pi­tal- owned prac­tices or com­mu­nity clin­ics. The ED must be re­served for emer­gent pa­tients. Us­ing high-cost ED ser­vices for care more ap­pro­pri­ately de­liv­ered by a pri­mary-care physi­cian does not make good clin­i­cal or busi­ness sense.

Ste­fani Daniels Man­ag­ing part­ner Phoenix Med­i­cal Man­age­ment Pom­pano Beach, Fla.

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