Management research to provide operational advice on improving quality, reducing costs and eliminating disparities.
In 2006 the Institute of Medicine stated that hospital-based emergency care was "at the breaking point." Nine out of 10 hospitals reported boarding admitted patients in the emergency department while awaiting inpatient beds, and nearly half of EDs reported operating at or above capacity. Evidence is mounting that ED crowding compromises care quality.
In the fall of 2008, Urgent Matters, a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation-supported program, launched a learning collaborative designed to assist hospitals as they planned and implemented strategies to improve patient flow and reduce ED crowding. HRET identified six diverse hospitals to participate in the collaborative, and under a contract with the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, HRET conducted a comprehensive evaluation of the strategies undertaken.
The evaluation focused on three research questions:
Case studies documenting each hospital's implementation experience may be accessed here: http://www.hpoe.org/hpoe/hret-urgent-matters.shtml
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