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From Good to Great! Methodist Hospital Models New Emergency Department Intake Methods

May 5, 2010

                                      Methodist Hospital

Methodist Hospital of Sacramento was recently featured at the national conference  "Taking Your ED From Good To Great" sponsored by the Emergency Department Benchmark Alliance, in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The Good to Great conference was designed to provide ED Medical and Nursing Directors with emergency department solutions to optimize the function of their ED's.  Unique and proven strategies for ED operational crises were presented in an easy to implement format that will lead to emergency department improvement.  Fresh ideas and frank discussions about the obstacles all emergency departments face were held and problem solving techniques were shared. Nationally acclaimed speakers included EMP's Jim Augustine and Kevin Klauer along with Richard Bukata and Shari Welch. 

 Methodist QuoteMethodist ED's unique triage "POD" approach was one topic of Dr. Shari Welch's discussion on "Exploring New Intake Models for the Emergency Department."  

The backdrop at Methodist was a 15 bed ED with a census of 42,000 and climbing, high walkout rates and long waits in the ED.   The use of 6 of those 15patient care beds for triage was met with raised eyebrows until the results were unveiled - showing a decrease in LWBS from

 5% to 1, a decrease in LOS, improved door to provider time and improved patient flow overall.

 LWOT Graph

Using the POD system, physicians are allocated 15 minutes per patient in a POD to allow for one of three dispositions. 1) Discharge the patient.   2) Place patient back into waiting room for additional studies such as x-rays or blood work.  3) Move the patient to an acute care bed for work-up and treatment.

 The focus on utilizing the ED waiting room after seeing the patient was reinforced in many of the unique front end models presented.

 Methodist ED physicians Matt Frankovsky, MD, and Tris Rieland, MD, were in attendance.  EMP/EPMP fellow 2010 Scholars Tamara Heibult, MD (Mercy San Juan), Tressa Naik, MD (Valley View), David Obert, DO (University Medical Center), and David Sloss, MD (Eisenhower) also attended to discuss emergency department solutions.


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