This article was published by Becker’s Hospital Review on June 21, 2017.
Emergency medicine is a complicated and rewarding specialty filled with unique challenges. Positioned at the “front lines” of care delivery, emergency departments (ED) treat patients in an environment that is by nature stressful and chaotic. From managing capacity, to triaging patients, to navigating life-threatening illnesses and injuries, some EDs experience pandemonium daily. Adding to the tense environment of the ED is the growing regulatory pressure to improve efficiency, reduce costs, and increase throughput – all the while providing the best care experience for patients and staff. As healthcare leadership looks to optimize EDs, beyond considering performance metrics which impact reimbursement and revenue, they also have to develop strategies for delivering a positive and consistent patient experience. This positivity has been shown to improve HCAHPS scores and ensure a stronger hospital market share, while encouraging the high-value and high-quality care that patients and families deserve.1 Here are three key strategies for healthcare leadership to consider as they work to place patient experience at the heart of ED optimization.