Boost Pa­tient Sat­is­fac­tion and Ex­pe­ri­ence Scores through Emer­gency Depart­ment Im­prove­ments

Modern Healthcare - - PERSPECTIVES -

Emer­gency de­part­ments are no longer just for emer­gen­cies. Over the past five years, they have in­creas­ingly be­come the pri­mary point of en­try for both high- and low-acu­ity pa­tients.

Although the Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Pre­ven­tion notes that 11.9 per­cent of emer­gency depart­ment vis­its re­sult in hos­pi­tal ad­mis­sion, in many hos­pi­tals, more than 60 per­cent of in­pa­tient vol­ume comes through the emer­gency room. This means for an in­creas­ing num­ber of pa­tients, the emer­gency room de­fines their first im­pres­sion of the hos­pi­tal as a whole.

First im­pres­sions mat­ter more than ever. Be­cause the ACA has tied CMS re­im­burse­ment to pa­tient sat­is­fac­tion scores, sub­jec­tive mea­sures of pa­tient sat­is­fac­tion now have a di­rect im­pact on rev­enue. A bad first im­pres­sion can com­pletely sour a pa­tient’s mem­ory of their sat­is­fac­tion, so en­sur­ing a pos­i­tive in­take ex­pe­ri­ence is para­mount.

While ex­pand­ing the size of the emer­gency depart­ment is one op­tion, a bet­ter strat­egy is to do more with less. The key to cop­ing with the in­flux of new emer­gency depart­ment traf­fic and main­tain­ing a con­sis­tently pos­i­tive pa­tient ex­pe­ri­ence is to dramatically in­crease emer­gency room ef­fi­ciency.

The white pa­per, “The Evolv­ing Emer­gency Depart­ment: Strate­gies for Stay­ing Ahead of the Curve,” ex­am­ines the fac­tors that are driv­ing in­creased emer­gency depart­ment uti­liza­tion, and ex­plores their im­pact on hos­pi­tal op­er­a­tions. It also show­cases three suc­cess­ful strate­gies for in­creas­ing emer­gency depart­ment ef­fi­ciency, lead­ing to im­proved work­flows and pa­tient sat­is­fac­tion.

“While ex­pand­ing the size of the emer­gency depart­ment is one op­tion, a bet­ter strat­egy is to do more with less.”

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