15 October 2014

How Hospital EDs Prepare for Weather-Related Disasters

Natural disaster and mass casualty emergencies often occur unexpectedly; when they do, hospital Emergency Departments often experience a surge in volume that overwhelms their day-to-day capacity. EDs prepare year-round for these events by conducting frequent drills and ongoing training that is inclusive of all hospital personnel and local community first responders. Vigilance in staying up-to-date on ACEP guidelines also is highly recommended. 

Lean process tools can add an extra layer of preparedness to disaster procedures that are already in place. These tools and systems can help ensure that hospitals handle surge volume more efficiently and also that they return back to “normal” operations as soon as possible.

  • ClearPathED is Sheridan’s lean workflow suite that streamlines the patient experience and ensures the timely, appropriate evaluation of ED patients. Through this Emergency Medicine best practice that focuses on reducing waste, right sizing staff and efficient throughput, Emergency Departments can reduce Arrival to Evaluation times, LBBS, AMA, LOS unnecessary testing, and risk exposure. Hardwiring lean philosophy/culture and deploying lean principles during disaster events can improve an Emergency Department’s ability to successfully manage surge capacity. 
  • Kaizen tools, a key component of the ClearPathED suite, can help hospitals EDs set up streamlined procedures for triaging patients, enhancing direct-to-bed concepts, and can ensure that patients efficiently flow through the ED. A hospital based Kaizen event can help frontline staff identify flow “pain points” and develop breakthrough processes, so they are better prepared when disaster strikes.

Read about one hospital that used ClearPathED processes to improve patient satisfaction and reduce “Left Before Being Seen” scores.