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Health System Management • January 2017

17 definition of metrics for ED operations. Although these organizations have done a decent job of defining and standardizing some definitions, it has been the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services publically reported measures that have unified the industry with such metrics as “door-to-doc” times, length of stay for an admitted patient, or length of stay for a discharged patient. While every hospital is required to submit their data, there is still wide variation in this practice, with resultant measures showing non-optimal performance against peers both in the state and in the nation. Another crucial step for ED optimization is to educate staff on how the data entered into the EMR system translates to accuracy of the data for the organization. “Everyone has an important role to play in terms of understanding the definition, but how the data is entered translates into publically reported data that our patients and consumers use to make choices for their healthcare,” Feinberg said. A big part of this education is to ensure that the correct times are entered in the information system. TRACK THE WAITING So what does data-driven decision making for the ED look like? Typically, Feinberg said, Philips works with a hospital that is struggling with a crowded waiting room. The hospital has a certain percentage of LWBS (left without being seen) patients — patients who come to the hospital for treatment but, because they waited so long, became frustrated and left without either triage and/or treatment. According to Feinberg, the best practice for hospitals around the country is to have a LWBS rate that is less than 2% of patients. “We like to see “You really need meaningful data in order to make good decisions.” Mark Feinberg


Health System Management • January 2017
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