EDs Need All Hands On Deck
Patient volume is an essential metric that hospitals monitor. The quantity has a direct impact on the success of the institution. Emergency department (ED) volume is just as critical. Patients needing immediate care often use the ED as the first point of contact. But with scarce human resources, some hospitals, particularly in rural areas, have understaffed ED. Staffing happens to be the highest cost to a hospital. So how can a hospital maximize ED care while managing costs and resources? The answer lies through innovative staffing solutions.
Topping up with telemedicine
Staffing solutions come from organizations that seek to help fellow medical professionals. These solutions include a range of cost-effective services that supplement the current staff. Telemedicine is one such staffing solution for stretched EDs. Telemedicine uses technology to diagnose and even treat patients. Think of a video conference between a patient and a doctor. Primary care physicians in the ED sometimes hold multiple roles, leaving these clinicians overwhelmed. Telemedicine can bring in more scalable, skilled staff. More than 60% of patients embrace telemedicine services. This means a higher patient volume and a higher quality of service.
Making the most of remote case management
Case management is a hospital’s ability to attend and successfully treat a patient upon entry. Each patient is considered a case that’s attended to by a case manager or support personnel. Triage is essential, so patients get the right care at the right time. Case management ties into patient volume. A patient not attended to can leave without being seen promptly. What’s worse, a patient incorrectly handled can turn into costly repeat admissions. Proper case management needs 24-hour coverage. Using virtual systems, remote case managers ensure that at every step of the process, there is patient support.
Consider supplementing with advanced practice providers
Advanced practice providers (APPs) are skilled and certified in providing comprehensive medical services to patients. While not doctors, these professionals work with the support of doctors. Advanced providers can fill staffing voids, making sure patients get immediate care. This can skyrocket patient volume. Typical roles include midwives, assistants, and nurse anesthetists. In many cases, APPs can perform routine checks, advanced treatment, and even life-saving techniques. The scope of advanced practice providers varies from state to state but can be an invaluable staffing solution for hospitals.
Get a cost-effective staffing upgrade today
Staffing can make or break an ED. Insufficient staff can increase stats like LWBS and reduce the perception of the hospital. The teams may even work multiple roles, becoming stretched, stressed, and underperforming. Getting external support from a durable, organized body can plug these holes, making staff and patients happier. Telemedicine, remote case management, and considering APPs are all effective methods. Hospital managers should start looking at ways to marry technology and external resources to serve patients better.