Emergency department overcrowding: Quality improvement in a Taiwan Medical Center

Chen Mei Hsu*, Li Lin Liang, Yun Te Chang, Wang Chuan Juang


研究成果: Article同行評審

24 引文 斯高帕斯(Scopus)


Background/Purpose: Overcrowding of hospital emergency departments (ED) is a worldwide health problem. The Taiwan Joint Commission on Hospital Accreditation has stressed the importance of finding solutions to overcrowding, including, reducing the number of patients with >48 h stay in the ED. Moreover, the Ministry of Health and Welfare aims at transferring non-critical patients to district or regional hospitals. We report the results of our Quality Improvement Project (QIP) on ED overcrowding, especially focusing on reducing length of stay (LOS) in ED. Methods: For QIP, the following 3 action plans were initiated: 1) Changing the choice architecture of patients’ willingness to transfer from opt-in to opt-out; 2) increasing the turnover rate of beds and daily monitoring of the number of free beds for boarding ED patients; 3) reevaluation of patients with a LOS of >32 h after the morning shift. Results: Transfer rates increased minimally after implementation of this project, but the sample size was too small to achieve statistical significance. No significant increase was observed in the number of free medical beds, but discharge rates after 12 pm decreased significantly (p < 0.001). The proportion of over 48 h LOSs decreased from 4.9% to 3.7% before and after QIP implementation, respectively (p < 0.001). Conclusion: Patients with LOS of >32 h were reevaluated first. After QIP, the proportion of LOSs of >48 h dropped significantly. Changing the choice architecture may require further systemic effort and a longer observation duration. Higher-level administrators will need to formulate a more comprehensive bed management plan to speed up the turnover rate of free inpatient beds.

頁(從 - 到)186-193
期刊Journal of the Formosan Medical Association
出版狀態Published - 1月 2019


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