Throughput in the Emergency Department: a Concept Analysis

2531 WordsMar 9, 201311 Pages
ED THROUGHPUT 2 Introduction A visit to the emergency department (ED) is usually associated with negative thoughts by most people. It creates preconceived images of overcrowded waiting rooms and routine long waits for treatment (Jarousse, 2011). From 1996 to 2006, ED visits increased annually from 90.3 million to 119.2 million (32% increase). During this same time period, the number of EDs has declined by 186 facilities creating the age old lower supply and greater demand concept (Crane & Noon, 2011). There are many contributing factors that have led to an increase in ED visits. A few of these key drivers include lack of primary care access, rising of the uninsured population, dwindling mental health services, and the growing elderly…show more content…
The manufacturing definition is defined as the user measured processing speed of a machine expressed as total output in a unit period under normal operating conditions (Throughput, 2010). The World English dictionary defines throughput as the quantity of raw material on information processed or communicated in a ED THROUGHPUT 4 given period (throughput, n.d). In healthcare, throughput refers to the ED process that impacts patient flow (Jarousse 2011). Process and flow began to be scrutinized for opportunities to improve the overcrowding by becoming more efficient. Due to this new process focus, throughput was born. This is also the point where lean flow or lean thinking became prevalent into healthcare from a manufacturing stand point to improve throughput. Lean principles revolve around removing non value added steps and standardizing work flow and processes. When applied aggressively hospital wide, lean principles can have a dramatic effect on productivity, cost, and quality. Numerous books concerning lean healthcare have been published in recent years (Crane & Noon 2011). Defining Attributes Determining which attributes are most frequently associated with ED throughput will allow insight into the concept. The antecedents will be described in the following paragraphs. Clear focused vision; The ED should be viewed as a key customer of the ancillary departments. If the mission is to provide quality compassionate healthcare, then all staff need to work hard towards
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