The emergency department or ED is a crucial component in hospitals where personnel like nurses, physicians, surgeons, and administrators are trained to handle emergencies and other urgent situations. Since the department perceives as a critical aspect in fostering teamwork and optimizing the natural flow of medical care, fast and accurate decision making is necessary to save the lives of patients. Therefore, the use of efficient and automated healthcare workflow solutions is a necessity in every ED.
Benefits of Healthcare Workflow Systems in Hospitals
Automated healthcare systems offer lots of benefits in facilitating workflows in hospitals. These advantages have greatly improved the delivery of services to patients requiring immediate medical attention. Below are some of the benefits:
- Better operating room efficiency
- Improve patient scheduling
- Optimize bed management in ED
- Eliminate bottlenecks in ED patient processing
- Improve radiology through real-time appointment, mobile patient monitoring, and collaborative scheduling
- Reduce delays in the care of patients by eliminating time-consuming texts and phone calls among the staff
- Automate manual tasks in the surgery department like ordering implants and equipment, and communicating with patients and their families
Things that ED Leaders Should Focus on to Improve Operational Efficiency
By utilizing healthcare workflow solutions, senior managers can concentrate on the more important things to enhance the efficiency of their departments. Here are some areas they should focus on:
- Teamwork and communication – Effective communication and teamwork are essential in the ED setting to ensure the safety of the patients. Achieving this could be a challenge due to the multitasking nature of work and constant interruptions.
- Operational standards, protocols, and clinical decision support – Managers should adopt clinical decision support rules to achieve some order in a chaotic environment.
- Hospital logistics and supplies – To avoid wasted time, physicians and nurses should have the necessary equipment and consumables when they attend to their patients.
- Contingency Planning – One of the primary responsibilities of ED managers is to prepare an effective plan for disaster response and management. They must ensure that their team can adequately respond to emergency events like terrorist attacks, transport accidents, natural disasters, and infectious disease pandemics like severe acute respiratory syndrome.
- Physical environment – ED leaders should cooperate with supporting departments like maintenance and housekeeping to ensure the cleanliness of the area and efficiency of the various medical devices and equipment.
- Conflict Resolution – ED personnel work in a very stressful setting, so it is understandable if they have arguments with other staff. Managers should develop conflict resolution protocols and strategies to create new opportunities and reduce stress among team members.
- Performance metrics – Managers, should develop the criteria for measuring the performance of their team, in general, and each member, in particular. They will use the results in the creation of strategies and solutions for improvement.
Hospital leaders should strive hard to inspire and motivate their teams to improve their service to their patients. They can start by showing compassion, enthusiasm, energy, and vigor in the performance of their duties and responsibilities.