Does your position require you to manage an emergency department (ED)? This can include being the one responsible for supervising staff, tracking protocols and organizing patient care. If so, you know how chaotic the ED can become at times. You also know that the top priority in the ED and healthcare in general is prioritizing the patient’s care.
Finding ways to prioritize patients can be a major challenge in any healthcare setting, but especially so in an emergency department where resources are limited, waiting rooms are full and time is of the essence. By offloading many of the recurring, redundant administrative tasks, your team can spend more time with patients when they need it most in an emergency situation.
In this article, we’ll be discussing some ways that you can streamline many of the recurring auxiliary tasks at your ED and maximize your department’s efficiency so that you can spend more time with the patients.
1: Block Out Peak Hours
While there may be occasional lulls in the emergency department, you and your staff can very quickly become inundated by a sudden rush of patients seeking immediate treatment.
During your emergency department’s usual peak hours where an influx of patients are arriving, you can use a digital solution to block out these hours so that your staff is not overwhelmed with high volumes of patients that are seeking treatment for low-acuity concerns.
This also allows you to more easily expedite care for high-acuity referrals that need attention immediately and keep the flow of patients steadier throughout the day.
2: Collect Patient Feedback Automatically
One of the best ways to improve patient outcomes in your emergency department is to get feedback directly from the patients. With the right software solution, patients can be kept in the loop via automated texts during each step of their stay in your ED. Afterwards, you can grab their feedback with a quick automated follow-up text survey and encourage them to write your ED an online review.
Referring providers can also be kept in the loop with certain softwares by receiving an email with their patient’s disposition status as soon as they are checked out. This helps to remove communication barriers and make sure that everyone, internally and externally, is on the same page.
3: Use a Mobile-Friendly Software
With so much being done from mobile phones nowadays, the software used in your emergency department should be responsive to changing screen dimensions and provide a consistent experience for users across devices.
This would ideally also allow providers to access medical documents and other software systems from a tablet or smartphone device to save on trips to a desktop computer. Being able to carry a tablet from room to room in the ED is a huge time-saver for your staff and allows them to spend more time caring for patients.
4: Reduce Phone Calls
If your emergency department utilizes a mobile check-in software solution, this would allow patients to schedule, reschedule, and cancel from their mobile devices. By giving patients to communicate and manage their appointments from their phones, your staff would spend less time manually answering calls.
Using check-in software would also provide advance notice of patient arrivals and set up a queue for your staff, helping to organize your waiting room and prioritize patient care.
5: Review Department Analytics on a Regular Basis
In the age of data, there are a number of ways to attain useful metrics and use them to enact beneficial changes in your emergency department. The management staff in your ED should review data collected by your ED’s software on a consistent basis to identify and analyze trends in your workflow.
When are patients starting to increase or decrease in volume? Where are your staff spending the majority of their time? How quickly are patients being seen?
Knowing this information helps you make more informed staffing decisions at times that are emerging as new peak hours, leading to more available staff assisting patients when the department gets busy.
Get a Complete Solution for Spending More Time with Your Patients
ER Express’ software solutions are optimized for emergency departments to increase efficiency, manage patient flow, and most importantly, improve the overall patient experience. Our solutions provide complete departmental workflow optimization software for emergency departments, including all of the features above plus more.
To learn more about how our solutions can help your emergency department, schedule a 15-minute call with us today.