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Ann Emerg Med. 2010 Feb;55(2):142-160.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.annemergmed.2009.05.021. Epub 2009 Jun 25.

Optimizing emergency department front-end operations.

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1
Division of Emergency Medicine, Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine, 660 S Euclid Avenue, St Louis, MO 63110, USA. wilerj@wusm.wustl.edu

Abstract

As administrators evaluate potential approaches to improve cost, quality, and throughput efficiencies in the emergency department (ED), "front-end" operations become an important area of focus. Interventions such as immediate bedding, bedside registration, advanced triage (triage-based care) protocols, physician/practitioner at triage, dedicated "fast track" service line, tracking systems and whiteboards, wireless communication devices, kiosk self check-in, and personal health record technology ("smart cards") have been offered as potential solutions to streamline the front-end processing of ED patients, which becomes crucial during periods of full capacity, crowding, and surges. Although each of these operational improvement strategies has been described in the lay literature, various reports exist in the academic literature about their effect on front-end operations. In this report, we present a review of the current body of academic literature, with the goal of identifying select high-impact front-end operational improvement solutions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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