Emergency Department (ED) waiting times are a relevant concern both to health care professionals and consumers, because ED crowding may affect the quality of and access to health care. This has prompted a large amount of studies in the scientific literature, addressing the problem of waiting times as an "international crisis". The causes of long waiting times are complex and multifaceted and feasible solutions must consider this and other aspects such as limitation of resources and unpredicted surges in demand. In the present article, we address the issue of modeling ED flow of patients with a low score at the triage evaluation. This study aimed to develop a model to predict expected waiting times for patients with a "green" or "white" code at triage, by analyzing the patient flow in a regional referral hospital in an Italian district. The simulation model was developed through flow analysis; moreover, input analysis was performed by using registration data collected in the ED during daily activities. The simulation results were compared to data collected through direct observation at the hospital ED and to data extracted from the existing hospital information system, which represents an online transaction system tailored for routine care and patient services in the ED as well as in other hospital departments. The applied model was shown to be able to emulate patient flow in the ED and to find key critical points of the health care process, for patients who received a low category score at the triage. To face the problem of ED waiting times, adoption of patient flow analysis and improvement strategies are recommended, together with improvement of triage evaluation procedures. Simulation models can help to manage this complex issue.

Publishing estimates of Emergency Department waiting times for low-priority patients: a tool to improve the perceived quality of services

Petitti T;Piredda M;
2019-01-01

Abstract

Emergency Department (ED) waiting times are a relevant concern both to health care professionals and consumers, because ED crowding may affect the quality of and access to health care. This has prompted a large amount of studies in the scientific literature, addressing the problem of waiting times as an "international crisis". The causes of long waiting times are complex and multifaceted and feasible solutions must consider this and other aspects such as limitation of resources and unpredicted surges in demand. In the present article, we address the issue of modeling ED flow of patients with a low score at the triage evaluation. This study aimed to develop a model to predict expected waiting times for patients with a "green" or "white" code at triage, by analyzing the patient flow in a regional referral hospital in an Italian district. The simulation model was developed through flow analysis; moreover, input analysis was performed by using registration data collected in the ED during daily activities. The simulation results were compared to data collected through direct observation at the hospital ED and to data extracted from the existing hospital information system, which represents an online transaction system tailored for routine care and patient services in the ED as well as in other hospital departments. The applied model was shown to be able to emulate patient flow in the ED and to find key critical points of the health care process, for patients who received a low category score at the triage. To face the problem of ED waiting times, adoption of patient flow analysis and improvement strategies are recommended, together with improvement of triage evaluation procedures. Simulation models can help to manage this complex issue.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12610/7861
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