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4 strategies to mitigate ER overcrowding

A study, published in Annals of Emergency Medicine, examined emergency room overcrowding and identified strategies to help healthcare facilities mitigate this issue.

For the study, researchers interviewed stakeholders at hospitals that were divided into three performance categories: low, high or highest-improving in terms of lengths of stay and boarding times, as measured based on statistics that 2,619 U.S. hospitals provided to CMS.

The researchers selected four hospitals in each of the three categories and talked to 60 stakeholders overall, including nursing staff, ER directors, directors of inpatient services and CMOs, among others.

The researchers found four key strategies that can help reduce ER overcrowding:

•    Involving executive leaders to ensure overcrowding is a hospital priority with clear goals
•    Breaking down silos and implementing comprehensive strategies across the hospital
•    Gathering and using data to improve operations by providing real-time feedback to staff and predicting patient flow
•    Holding people accountable and addressing issues immediately

The National Institutes of Health funded the study.

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Driscoll Children's Hospital evacuates NICU babies as hurricane approaches Texas coast

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