Emergency & Hospital Medicine Roles in Patient Flow

In a hospital setting, two groups of physicians can be considered patient flow managers: emergency medicine physicians and hospitalists.

When patient flow problems come up, many hospitals first consider the ED, which makes sense — after all, nearly half of all inpatient admissions come from the ED, according to an EmCare whitepaper. However, it is not the only place hospitals should look when evaluating patient flow issues.

"As a hospital-based practice, hospitalists are positioned to effectively manage hospital admissions and discharges," according to the whitepaper. "Therefore, from a patient flow perspective, hospitalists have come to play a major role in improving flow efficiency."

Below are examples of efforts physicians in each specialty can make that will have significant impact on service efficiencies and clinical outcomes, according to EmCare:

Emergency medicine
•    Effective triage
•    Organized communication
•    Lean thinking
•    Continued focus on improved patient experience

Hospital medicine
•    Rounding on patients throughout the day
•    Observing a patient's needs
•    Arranging appropriate services
•    Managing the patient experience

More Articles on Patient Flow:
4 Signs of a Hospital With Patient Flow Problems
Top 3 Problems That ED Boarding Causes & How Technology Can Help
Patient Flow Checklist for Nurses

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