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National project improves ER patient flow

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The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Safety reports that  42 hospitals in 16 U.S. communities  successfully collaborated to improve patient flow in their emergency departments. 

In a 18-month project organized by the Aligning Forces for Quality program, hospitals cut their “discharged length of stay by 26 minutes, their admitted length of stay by 36.5 minutes and their boarding time by nearly 21 minutes,” FierceHealthcare summarized from the Joint Commission abstract.

The news service said that “the rate of patients who left without being seen also fell by 1.4 percent percentage points,” according to the Joint Commission abstract.

“Although most of the hospitals in the collaborative improved on at least one measure of ED throughput, 14 hospitals did not demonstrate improvement. The researchers said those hospitals that didn’t succeed may not have had C-suite leaders actively involved in the improvement teams, which may have stalled or even stopped some projects. They concluded that successful approaches to ED flow improvement require engaged leaders, staff buy-in and sufficient resources.”


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