IMQ receives grant to reduce ED wait times

March 28, 2017
Area(s) of Interest: Emergency Services Hospitals and Health Facilities Patient Care 

The W.M. Keck Foundation has awarded the Institute for Medical Quality (IMQ) a generous grant to help three Los Angeles area hospitals with busy emergency departments (ED) adopt recognized best practices to reduce ED wait times and improve the quality of care.

Long wait times and overcrowding plague many hospital emergency departments. Overcrowding results in poor quality care and adverse outcomes for patients, as well as higher cost for hospitals and the health care system as a whole. This project provides analytic support and guidance to help three hospitals continue to reduce ED wait times, while improving the quality of care and patient outcomes.

Each hospital will choose one or more of these three best practices identified by the American College of Emergency Physicians as high-impact solutions to ED overcrowding:

  • Increasing the number of hospital discharges by 11 a.m.

  • Smoothing the distribution of elective surgeries and other procedures

  • Implementing an ED crowding plan that triggers interventions before overcrowding reaches critical levels.

The project will demonstrate the effectiveness of an integrated systems approach to performance improvement. The goal is to define a replicable process for reducing ED wait times that can be generalized to other hospitals that provide ED services.

The final report and case studies of the three hospital programs will be published, with the senior executive teams of the 77 Los Angeles hospitals that provide ED services invited to a symposium where the study and its findings will be presented.

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