5 Steps to Alleviate ED Overcrowding

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Hospital emergency department visits are up in almost every hospital in the country right now, and implementing a capacity alert response system can help assuage the high volumes, according to a whitepaper from CEP America.

CEP America recommends the five-step capacity alert response system to handle ED overcrowding:

1. The ED works to discharge as many patients as possible.

2. If the ED is still overcrowded, the staff sends out a hospital-wide "code bed" alert.

3. The "code bed" alert informs all other departments in the hospital — ranging from hospitalists to facilities — to report to the ED within 10 minutes to assess the situation.

4. Hospital staff members collaboratively examine what can be done and evaluate what resources are available.

5. Patients who can be admitted to other departments are relocated out of the ED, and ED flow improves and returns to a normative state.

Related Articles on ED Overcrowding:

LeConte Medical Center in Tennessee Reaches ED Wait-Time Milestone

4 Strategies Hospitals Are Using to Optimize Patient Flow

Study: Requiring EDs to See Patients Within 4 Hours Decreased Overcrowding

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