Baldrige Framework: Leveraging Technology to Improve Patient Flow, Collections and Overall Productivity

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Tools, Techniques & Strategies for Change

Seth Guterman
Emergency Care Documentation Systems

When it comes to equipping your hospital with the latest technology "including the electronic medical record (EMR)" it's no longer a matter of IF, but rather WHEN you'll have to do it. Find out what computers can offer your hospital and how you can keep the blood flowing to all the arteries of your facility.

It's no secret that healthcare is a field that can be the most revolutionary or the most stagnate. Billions of dollars are spent on medicine each year, whether it be research or public aid programs. However, not all areas of medicine receive the same attention. Emergency medicine, for example, is often considered the red-headed stepchild of a hospital, having to beg for funds and being left with outdated equipment and methods. The archaic handwritten patient chart is at the crux of the overwhelming obstacles faced by ER staff on a daily basis, but they have no choice to simply plug away with whatever means they have. Yet, the consequences are severe and can be narrowed down to seven critical issues facing today's emergency departments: 1) illegible and incomplete documentation, 2) inefficient communication & delayed patient flow, 3) down coding of charts, leading to reduced reimbursement, 4) failure to capture lost hospital charges, 5) poor government compliance, 6) increased risk of error & thus malpractice liability, and 7) tedious OPI/QA management. These are areas in desperate need of national change in order to revive the reputation of the emergency department. The ED is in fact the portal through which the most critical patients enter, generating approximately half of all hospital admissions and making it a crucial focus of importance. This presentation will address these issues and empower healthcare professionals to seek the leadership they need within their department to effect change and improve patient care.