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‘Bed czars’ streamling ER flow

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Some hospitals are using “bed czars” to monitor and streamline emergency department patient flow.

Articles in the San Diego Union-Tribune and Fierce Healthcare report that Sharp Grossmont Hospital, in La Mesa, Calif., uses its “bed czars” to ensure that patients who will stay overnight at the hospital are moved from the ED to their hospital rooms speedily and that  discharges are closely monitored.

Grossmont also now employs a nurse practitioner in its triage department, who decides which patients to fast-track through the ED, says the Union-Tribune. The “fast-track” operation is meant to handle patients with cuts, bruises and  such other (usually) minor symptoms as  coughs.

The hospital’s CEO, Scott Evans, told the paper that it uses software to link patients with clinics and/or primary-care providers to ensure that follow-up appointments are not at the ER. Hospital staff also communicate closely with nursing facilities to ensure that former ER patients do not needlessly return to the hospital.

“If we can get them into primary care where their chronic diseases can be managed, they don’t need to necessarily bounce back here as often, and we think that’s better for them, obviously,” Evans told the newspaper.

Nassau University Medical Center in Long Island, N.Y., takes a similar approach to reducing ER usage, says an article in The Wall Street Journal. The hospital has opened a primary-care unit to treat about 300,000 patients a year and  hopes to cut emergency room visits by as much as 25 percent.

To read the San Diego Union-Tribune article on cutting ER use, please hit this link.

To read Fierce Healthcare’s article, please hit this link.

To read The Wall Street Journal’s article on Nassau University Medical Center’s ER triage,  please hit this link.

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