Background: In recent years, the flow of patients to the Emergency Departments (ED) of Western countries has steadily increased, thus generating overcrowding and extended waiting times. Scholars have identified four main causes for this phenomenon, related to: continuity of primary care services; availability of specific clinical pathways for chronic patients; ED's personnel endowment; organization of the ED. This study aims at providing a logical diagnostic framework to support managers in investigating specific solutions to be applied to their EDs to cope with high ED waiting times. The framework is based on the ED waiting times and ED admission rate matrix. It was applied to the Tuscan EDs as illustrative example. Methods: To provide the factors to be analyzed once the EDs are positioned into the matrix, a list of issues has been identified. The matrix was applied to Tuscan EDs. Data were collected from the Tuscan performance evaluation system, integrated with specific data on Tuscan EDs' personnel. The Tuscan EDs matrix, the descriptive statistics for each quadrant and the Spearman's rank correlation analysis among waiting times, admission rates and a set of performance indicators were conducted to help managers to read the phenomena that they need to investigate. Results: The combined reading of the correlations and waiting times-admission rates matrix shows that there are no optimal rules for all the EDs in managing admission rates and waiting times, but solutions have to be found considering mixed and personalized strategies. Conclusions: The waiting times-admission rates matrix provides a tool able to support managers in detecting the problems related to the management of ED services. In particular, using this matrix, healthcare managers could be facilitated in the identification of possible solutions for their specific situation.
|Titolo:||Waiting times in emergency departments: A resource allocation or an efficiency issue?|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2020|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo su Rivista/Article|