3 Ways to Proactively Prepare for Patient SurgesIQadmin2021-08-19T15:55:52+00:00
3 Ways to Proactively Prepare for Patient Surges
Unexpected patient surges in the Emergency Department have a unique and outsized ability to disrupt an entire hospital. Chaos in the ED leads to patients boarding in hallways, staff called in on their day off, other units scrambling to assist and cover, and even patients leaving without being seen.
Top 3 mistakes in effectively managing surges:
Lack of hospital-wide mitigation strategies
Mitigation plans focus solely on the ED because it is still the hottest spot during a patient surge.
Disjointed discharge processes
Ineffective discharge planning processes are a major contributor to boarding, leaving both ED and perioperative leadership in a panic.
Ineffective staffing practices
Surges result in last-minute call-ins and staff transfers to the ED as temporary support, which are time consuming, disruptive, and costly.
How to improve the management of inpatient operations:
Provide awareness of the situation
Enable leaders and front-line managers with advanced awareness of potential capacity issues, giving them time to enact appropriate mitigation plans.
Prioritize discharges and transfers
Breaking down barriers in the discharge and transfer management process throughout a hospital will help make capacity available to incoming demand.
Ensure adequate staffing
Proactively balance nursing staff across the health system to avoid the last-minute scramble of assigning float staff and shifting nurses away from their core units.