Emergency departments are probably the busiest unit in a healthcare facility. Each day, people who seek medical services would rather go to an emergency room (ER) than go straight to the right physician. The result is that at least hundreds of people come in and out of ERs each day.
With the daily numbers of patients who come in and out of an ER, it is only natural that such a department faces numerous challenges. If you are a hospital administrator, one of your responsibilities is to oversee that all issues are met in each department. If not, then patient satisfaction will suffer. Even the communication within the organization will crumble. This is why it pays to address all the current challenges of your emergency department.
The following are the common pain points in emergency departments and how you can resolve each issue:
Inefficient medical billing
Documenting patient encounters and collecting payment are the usual dilemmas for many emergency departments. When you have an inefficient billing process, you have a hard time collecting every dollar the patients and insurance companies owe you. This is why taking advantage of emergency department billing solutions is beneficial. You can improve your practice, along with your bottom line. You can collect payment on time and have the necessary funds to equip the department with all its needs. This also allows you to provide your patients with excellent service.
Patient record management
Another critical issue many emergency departments face is relaying patient records to the next healthcare provider. When a patient is to be admitted or referred to physicians, it is only a must that all data are kept confidential and accurate at the same time. But with all the patients who need emergency care, it can be hard to keep up to ensure all these. By having reliable electronic medical records software, you can record, manage, and store patient records better.
Long waiting times
Patients who choose to go to an ER often have to face long waiting hours. Most ER patients wait at least two hours before getting adequate medical attention. The common reasons for this are bed shortage and understaffing. Most nurses and doctors would rather attend during normal business hours on weekdays. What hospital administrators can do is to ensure that all shifts have an adequate number of people to meet the demands and shorten the waiting times.
Maintaining quality care
ERs are for medical emergencies. But since many patients with or without health insurance would rather go to an ER instead of setting up an appointment with their doctors, healthcare providers in this area often struggle to keep up in providing quality care to the patients. Even if the quality of care is maintained, it can be challenging to maintain continuity. By increasing leadership visibility within the department, as well as engagement, you can retain continuity.
Managing an emergency department is a challenging task. But this is not to say that this is impossible. All it takes is investing in the right systems and improving collaboration among all healthcare providers. It is also a must that you start addressing patient issues with quality care in mind. If you can address all challenges that emergency departments face, then you can boost your department’s performance. You can increase patient satisfaction rating and even enhance the bottom line of the department.