Healthcare Quarterly

Healthcare Quarterly 19(1) April 2016 : 29-35.doi:10.12927/hcq.2016.24612
Process Improvement

Process Improvements to Reform Patient Flow in the Emergency Department

Shawn D. Whatley, Alexander K. Leung and Marko Duic


Emergency departments (ED) function to diagnose, stabilize, manage and dispose patients as efficiently as possible. Although problems may be suspected at triage, ED physician input is required at each step of the patient journey through the ED, from diagnosis to disposition. If we want timely diagnosis, appropriate treatment and great outcomes, then ED processes should connect patients and physicians as quickly as possible. This article discusses the key concepts of ED patient flow, value and efficiency. Based on these fundamentals, it describes the significant impact of ED process improvements implemented on measures of ED efficiency at a large community ED in Ontario, Canada.



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