Unfortunately Emergency Departments have little control over the amount and type of patients arriving in their hospitals. Many facilities are experiencing increased wait times and overflowing hallways with patients who have been admitted to the emergency department. These are increasingly troublesome issues that result from increased patient demand at a point in time when the number of emergency departments has declined and hospital inpatient capacity has decreased as well.
This is why managing the flow of patients through their care is vital in preventing patient crowding, patient safety issues and quality of care. Deming’s “PDSA” cycle examines a four-step process for quality improvement. The four steps are simply Plan, Do, Study, and Act. Based on the four-step model, I would implement an improvement in the flow of patients from the emergency room of a hospital to admittance in a ward using Deming’s four steps as follows.
In the “Plan” step, I would evaluate and analyze the current patient flow procedures by studying the current SOP’s (standard operating procedures) in place as well as discussing the procedures with all staff that have direct involvement with the patient flow procedures, like the ER staff and admitting personnel for the wards as well as patients. Next I would compose an improved plan weeding out steps in the old one that may not be conducive to the new plan while implementing new steps as well.
Third, I would develop a time line that would establish a time and date that we would begin to initiate the new plan into effect as well. After completing the plan and the timeline, I would make sure that all personnel involved have been thoroughly briefed and are aware of all changes and timelines. I would also provide patients with information for warning them of the upcoming changes and asking them for their patience during the trial period until everything has been worked out. The next step is the “Do” step which entails putting the plan into action.
I would begin putting the plan to action with as much precision as possible. However, I would emphasize to the staff to take great care in not interrupting the organizations daily activities as much as possible. Within this period I would make sure to closely monitor the staffs adaptability and patient response to the plan. The “Study” step is the phase in which once accesses the change that has taken place, is the situation better or worse and how and what can improve it as well as what should remain the same. During this step I would access the plans downfalls as ell as benefits. I would also determine if the plan met its expectations and if not why. Last I would make necessary adjustments required to reach success. The last step is “Act,” in which all necessary changes have been made and the plan has been put into effect completely In this step, I would ensure that all staff are carrying out the procedures properly, that the process is running smoothly as well be prepared to make any adjustments, or watch or any problems that may occur as a result of staff or technological changes within.
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