4 Jul 2022


Emergency Department Congestion

Format: APA

Academic level: College

Paper type: Coursework

Words: 916

Pages: 3

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Saintemarie University Hospital was a hospital located in Saintemarie city with a population of over half a million people. Saintemarie city located in Europe had limited health care facility mainly constituted of private clinics that would only offer care for cases that did not require hospitalization. Saintemarie University Hospital was the only hospital in the area with an emergency department that was capable of handling acute emergency cases. As a result, Saintemarie University Hospital resources were strained leading to challenges in the provision of quality healthcare (Hublet, Besbes and Chan, 2014). A look at the performance, challenges and operational problems at the hospital gives insight and enables the development of viable recommendations to ensure quality care from the hospital to the people of Saintemarie.

Challenges and Impact of Emergency Department Utilization 

The healthcare industry was and is often faced with the problem of reducing costs without reducing the quality of healthcare offered. As such, departments are under pressure to manage limited resources. One of the challenges is congested emergency departments in hospitals. Saintemarie university hospital’s emergency department was the only one in the Saintemarie metropolitan area and had a global standard reputation. As a result, it served the whole Saintemarie metropolitan area with its ED. The ED had a massive impact in the area since it was the only emergency department facility and had international talents in the medical field which meant quality care. As the only ED facility in the area and having a global standard reputation the ED, it faced two major challenges which were congestion and long waiting times for patients (Hublet, Besbes, & Chan, 2014). The challenges compromised quality care for the residents of Saintemarie and led to operational problems.

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Operational Problems and Their Causes 

Saintemarie University hospital emergency department faced operational problems such as lack of bed space, long wait periods for patient, lengthy patient management processes and inadequate service to patients. Various logistics issues within the hospital were the precursor of the operational problems. Firstly, lack of bed space was due to high occupancy rates in both the Ed and other hospital departments. This meant that the Ed had to wait to make transfers of patients from the Ed to the referred departments delaying provision of care for the patient and those in line. Secondly, the ED staff composed mostly of interns who worked under the supervision of 25 junior specialist doctors and only six senior specialists. The doctors also worked length shifts leading to lower performance. The strain led some nurse and doctors to resign increasing the strain on staff and wait times. Also, ED patients for critical cases took longer tie in attendance which prolonged the waiting period for others (Hublet, Besbes, & Chan, 2014). Generally, the hospital faced operational problems in regard to top quality of care due to the inadequate staffing and a large number of patients that amounted to a strain of hospital facilities.

ED Performance and Recommendations for Improvements 

Due to the challenges and the operational problems at Saintemarie University hospital performance of the ED was poor. Revenue resources went down as profitable patients sought health care elsewhere. There was need to increase staff to manage the waiting patients and shifts overtime went up. Overall, the resources were more strained and the doctors and staffs were overworked leading to deterioration of the ED service performance (Hublet, Besbes & Chan, 2014). In order to improve on performance and quality of service, The Saintemarie ED would have to implement some strategies. Several recommendations would help solve the problems and overcome the challenges. One of the recommendations is to increase the role of nurses in order to ensure greater coverage. For instance, the development of triage nurses who can take up the triage role and identify the criticality of ED cases given the inadequacy of the physician triage. The hospital can also implement PAT models which provide a more meaningful analysis of patient risk condition and possibility for a faster intervention hence reducing service times. Another recommendations Is the use of MAUs which enable shorter patient access and management tie lengths hence shortening the wait times. Basically, the recommendations reduce the service times and consequently reduce staff volume of work and shifts improving performance. Additionally, the hospital would also need to hire more qualified doctors as opposed to ore interns to allow serving several patients at the same time since qualified personnel will not require supervision (Elder, Johnston & Crilly, 2015).

Significance of Measurement and Analytics in Providing Quality Patient Care 

Measurement and analytics in the healthcare system are important to improving quality and care especially in the process rather than at the outcome stage. For one, analytics provide a way to evaluate performance and effectiveness of practitioners. By evaluating performance and effectiveness challenges can be discovered early and solved before they can compromise quality. Secondly, analytics help to predict risks during the process and avoid more damage both in service and operation. With process measurement and analytics, risks can be predicted from the analysis and counter or navigated. Measurements and analytics also help to come up with workable schedules and procedures that ensure that some areas of care are not neglected (University of Illinois Chicago, n.d). Similarly, they help develop a workflow within the departments to avoid collision of responsibilities and roles.

In conclusion, the Saintemarie university hospital provides critical emergency care to a large population with a pressure to reduce cost and at the same tie offer quality service. Given the challenges of inadequate qualified personnel and a large client base, operational problems arise such as increased wait times and logistics in service which compromise quality. Therefore the hospital needs to implement the recommendations in its emergency department to counter the problems and overcome the challenges consequently improving the quality of care.


Elder, E. Johnston, A. & Crilly, J (2015). Review article: Systematic review of three key strategies designed to improve patient flow through the emergency department. Emergency Medicine Australasia, 27 (5), 394-404. doi: 10.1111/1742-6723.12446 

Hublet, L., Besbes, O., & Chan, C. (2014). Emergency department congestion at Saintemarie university hospital. Columbia Business School . Retrieved on 17 June 2018, from https://alertlogic-hb4e.hbsp.harvard.edu/api/courses/450262/items/CU48-PDF-ENG/sclinks/1da278bbbf49a285238194719360da38 

University of Illinois Chicago. (n.d). How health care analytics improves patient care . Retrieved on 17 June 2018, from https://healthinformatics.uic.edu/resources/articles/how-health-care-analytics-improves-patient-care/ 

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StudyBounty. (2023, September 16). Emergency Department Congestion.


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