Is there any aspect of healthcare today that isn’t complicated? Running a hospital emergency department (ED) jumps right to the top of the list. Increasing patient volume, staff shortages, and multiple regulatory requirements, coupled with the high-stress environment, makes managing an ED more challenging than ever.   Using the right technology can help improve operational efficiencies and care collaboration both within the emergency department and with hospital caregivers outside the ED.  A web-based solution is even more beneficial because the patient record can be securely accessed anytime, anywhere.

A crowded waiting room compromises care quality of care

One of the most challenging aspects of ED management is waiting room overcrowding; often patients are in a holding pattern waiting to be seen.  According to The Institute of Medicine (IOM) there are six key factors that impact care quality. They are safety, effectiveness, patient-centeredness, efficiency, timeliness, and equity. There’s no question that inefficient patient throughput is one of the biggest problems that ED managers face. Due to the complexity of managing patients and the increasing volume of quality reporting requirements, ED managers should consider software programs that give staff the ability to prioritize and monitor a patient’s progress at the point of care anytime, anywhere.

“If it isn’t documented, it hasn’t been done”

How many times have you heard this statement? Careful provider and nursing documentation of each ED patient encounter is one of the most important functions. Sloppy or inaccurate documentation in the electronic medical record can challenge or delay insurance payments, as well as compromise patient care.   For instance, diagnostic test orders could be denied by the payer. ED managers need software that includes the payer’s claim form and billing statement and is supported by the documentation in the medical record. Proper documentation of a comprehensive physician record includes History of Present Illness, Review of Systems, Past Medical/Family/Social History, Physical Exam, Medical Decision Making, including procedures performed, Final Impression, and Disposition. The software should also have an integrated E-Prescribing & Prescription writer.

Hospital EDs need flexible tools

Does your ED have a Status & Tracking Board that keeps pertinent patient information up to the minute in an easy to view intuitive format? Those that include a nurse triage feature are even more beneficial. This feature alone can help ED staff improve patient throughput, reduce operational costs, and better ensure clinician and patient satisfaction.

In addition, with the ever-increasing volume of quality reporting requirements, it’s important that the ED software features reporting tools that can be customized to help optimize ED operations and billing. A Physician Module that provides immediate access to the most current patient information can help prevent medical errors through more informed medical decision-making.

Finally, an effective ED solution should be easy to implement and use, and should:

  • Link to a single web-based location to simplify data exchange
  • Enable quick and effective discharges that include Exit care instructions, patient information, medication leaflets, and discharge summaries
  • Be interoperable so the ED manager can easily work and connect with other systems
  • Provide secure web-based anytime, anywhere, access to patient information and be tailored to fit your needs

Download the NextGen Healthcare ED webinar and live demo:  Emergency Department on Life Support? Come Back to Life with NextGen Healthcare ED