In many EDs, patients often suffer for hours in a crowded waiting room before they are treated. After some time, many leave before the appropriate treatment, potentially putting their health and safety at risk while costing hospitals revenue. A key component of decreasing ED wait times and those who leave without treatment is physician and nursing workflow. When the process is optimized, a hospital's ED can accommodate a high volume of patients. Meanwhile, an inefficient clinical documentation system can hinder flow and volume drastically.
Studies have shown the negative effects of crowded EDs, demonstrating that low ED throughput has critical quality and revenue implications for hospitals. Each patient who leaves without being seen represents an average loss to the hospital of over $600.
To improve patient flow, IT solutions catering specifically to the needs of the ED can improve provider workflow, while hospital-wide systems may fall short. Some areas of optimization include:
1) Provider in Triage (PIT). Hospital-wide system limitations do not allow for efficient PIT documentation, leading to redundant work and poor communication between the provider in triage and the physician ultimately responsible for the patient's care. This is a growing issue as more departments move towards a provider in triage to try to improve door-to-provider time in addition to overall efficiency.
2) Generalized documentation issues. Broadly targeted EMR systems are not ED-friendly. With a multitude of fields in any given note to click through, charting in the ED can be difficult and time consuming. In many EHR systems it may take an average of 8-16 seconds per chart to load just a single diagnosis, further decreasing productivity.
3) Limited Workflow support. An effective EMR must be customized to fit an institution's needs. Larger systems limit department-specific customization, and in areas where customization is possible, these changes may be delayed and require significant re-training and downtime. In addition, data provided by the right EMR system is critical in identifying improvement opportunities and implementing optimized processes.
Furthermore, many ED charting applications face clinician push-back against long hours of training and incomprehensible screen navigation.
As hospital administrators continue to grapple with tightened budgets, overcrowding, and new regulatory challenges, an improved ED throughput can significantly help increase hospital capacity while improving quality, increasing patient satisfaction, reducing risk, and capturing previously lost revenue.
The FlexChart Solution
When patients and their clinical information flow efficiently through the Emergency Department, all aspects of care improve dramatically, including the quality of care and hospital revenue. Edaris Health’s, EMR product, FlexChart, was designed BY Emergency Physicians FOR Emergency Physicians. It is operationally efficient and maximizes reimbursement, while seamlessly integrating with existing hospital systems. Using a cloud-based SaaS model, FlexChart can easily overlay and serve a hospital system, rather than compete with it.
FlexChart was designed to allow physicians to chart efficiently through a combination of features, leading to maximum physician time at the bedside. The intuitive design of the chart allows for extremely simple and rapid adoption, supporting the rapid on-boarding of new staff and moonlighters, even those who are balancing the demands of various and competing charting applications as they move between facilities. Plus, unlike classic template charts which are difficult to interpret, FlexChart translates the information into an easily understandable narrative, supporting communication with other collaborating physicians and services.