Case Management

CMW News: Hospitals around the nation look to cure ED overcrowding

Case Management Weekly, December 17, 2008

Too many patients and not enough capacity in the emergency department has been a longstanding puzzle for hospitals. Fifty percent of hospital admissions now come through the ED, up from 36% in 1996, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report.

To speed and improve patient care, emergency departments across  the nation are implementing creative registration, testing, and admissions strategies:

  • Cooper Hospital-University Medical Center in Camden, NJ, uses a “fast track” system for patients with minor illnesses or injuries. These patients are treated by physician assistants or nurse practitioners, leaving the physicians more time to work with serious patients.
  • Dublin (OH) Medical Hospital uses electronic patient records and ordering to make the process more efficient and accessible.
  • Scripps Mercy Hospital in San Diego and Chula Vista uses an electronic system to keep track of available beds to reduce the amount of time patients spend waiting for a bed. It also has a full time phlebotomist working in the ED to facilitate blood testing.
  • Hudson Valley Hospital Center in Westchester, NY, uses portable computers to conduct patient registration and testing at the bedside.

Sources: HealthLeaders Media, USA Today


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