Posting Data on Bulletin Board Improves ED Flow

    • February 27, 2013

Interview Title:
Sharing Real Time Data to Improve ED Throughout

Good Samaritan reduced ED throughput time for admitted patients by 102 minutes – from five hours and 58 minutes to four hours and 16 minutes.

Good Samaritan Hospital
401 15th Avenue, Southeast
Puyallup, Washington 98372

Good Samaritan Hospital is a comprehensive, not-for-profit 300-bed medical facility that sees about 80,000 emergency department patients annually.

Lois Catts, R.N., M.S.N.
Quality Management Consultant for Clinical Effectiveness
P: (253) 697-1888

Innovation Implementation:
Recognizing that lengthy emergency department (ED) throughput left up to 45 percent of its patients in the ED for more than six hours from arrival to departure, Good Samaritan Hospital turned to its performance data to drive and support improvement efforts.

Using electronic medical records, hospital staff measured wait times and patient flow using real time data. They compiled the data into a focused report shared every morning with the ED managers and medical directors. It was graphically displayed daily on an electronic “bulletin board” that allowed ED staff to see their metrics and get timely feedback on their performance. To increase awareness and ramp up the pressure to improve, staff strategically positioned the board so it was noticeable to all staff and patients.

The ongoing goal at Good Samaritan is to create an environment where all staff members (including maintenance employees, registration staff, etc.) are working together to help improve patient satisfaction and flow. They found that the bulletin board served as a motivator since it encouraged a collaborative environment in which everybody worked together to achieve the goal.

The transparency created by the bulletin board fostered greater involvement among a wider range of hospital employees about ED issues, including among board leaders and senior management. Knowing the data was being shared placed greater emphasis on quality improvement from top leadership which helped make the process successful. The resulting improvements reduced Good Samaritan’s throughput time for admitted patients by 102 minutes – from five hours and 58 minutes to four hours and 16 minutes.