Better Decisions in Emergency Department

Whether you call it gridlock or overcrowding, emergency departments around the country are looking for ways to safely yet efficiently serve a growing number of patients each day. In Miami, Baptist Health South Florida (BHSF) investigated the impact of rising emergency department (ED) visits at one of their hospitals by building an accurate computer model of the ED. The model, created using FlexSim HC, allowed them to test three important “what if” scenarios and see the impact of potential changes.

Objectives

  • Reduce patient Length of Stay (LOS)

  • Reduce Door to Provider time

  • Optimize staffing hours

Processes

The Rapid Care Unit (RCU) at BHSF’s hospital, a segregated unit, has a streamlined process, enabling a physician-led team to help more patients without sacrificing care quality—and free up bed space elsewhere for more severe patients. To test how well the unit works within the entire department. BHSF plugged the RCU scenario into their model to test it against actual data and real-world variability.

Under a proposed Rapid Evaluation (REV) at the hospital, a physician would evaluate a patient early on and get their orders started. BHSF tested this scenario in their model.

BHSF used their model to solve the problem: What’s the best staffing plan?. First, they gathered data from the ED census and nurse-topatient ratio to come up with optimal staffing levels each hour. They plugged this information into the model and used FlexSim HC’s visual dashboard to continually validate the impact on critical patient care metrics. BHSF was even able to evaluate and present multiple staffing scenarios to cover a variety of budget constraints.

Results

  • Decreased Door to Provider time lower acuity patients by 8% with Rapid Care Unit (RCU)

  • Decreased LOS for lower acuity patients by 27% with RCU

  • Decreased Door to Provider time by 46% with Rapid Evaluation (REV)

  • Ability to provide optimal staffing levels for nurses and physicians

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