The fast-track ER is designed to treat patients with mild ailments such as cuts and colds at a faster rate without interfering with the treatment of the seriously ill patients (US acute care solutions. 2017). It aims to trim down extensive waits and improve the overall flow of patients at the emergency department.
Risk and mitigation analysis
Analyze the opportunities and risks relevant to your proposed economic initiative.
What are the opportunities that will be created by your proposed economic initiative?
Opportunities created bythe establishment of a fast track ER
Establishment of a fast track enablesthe creation of new opportunities for the organization. Such opportunities include the addition of fast track program, an increase in the number of exam rooms and an increase in the health facility staff.
Fast track program
This program results in a reduction in patient waiting time. It enables less emergent patients to be treated quickly while allowing for more bed availability and faster treatment for patients with more emergent needs thereby reducing a patients overall ED length of stay.
Increase in examination rooms
Establishment of a fast track system will encourage the creation of more treatment rooms to serve the patients with more emergent needs hence reducing the waiting time. Williamette Valley Medical Center (WVMC) established a fast track system which led to the addition of three new treatment rooms and a central triage room being added to its emergency department.
The increase in staff
Establishment of a fast track ER would lead to an increase in staff to serve the patients in the program which would also result in a reduction in the waiting times. WVMC added one ED physician, 2 nurse practitioners and 11 new ED staff members to its team. The staff is increased by 25% each day enabling their patients to receive medical care faster while preparing the department to meet all patients needs.
All the above opportunities are beneficial to the care setting as they work towards the reduction of patient waiting times and making the system more efficient.
What are the risks associated with your proposed economic initiative?
Running tasks concurrently
Fast-tracking requires the project team members to run operational tasks parallel as opposed to consecutively or in a sequential manner (Goodman, 2011). A fast track ER in an emergency department would require the physicians and staff members to perform tasks of attending to patients with urgent needs as well as those in a more serious condition. Handling of activities in this manner would result in inefficiency in service provision as a result of overworking.
Shortage of space
Patients with acute medical problems account for most of the patients in hospitals. This would, therefore, mean that the fast track emergency room is more likely to be flooded with patients even through space has been created in the main emergency room. This is quite a risk for the system as it would make it difficult to address all the patients effectively and on time.
How do the potential economic opportunities compare to the potential economic risks?
The potential economic opportunities outweigh the potential economic risks making the project a viable idea for a health facility. The opportunities created to address the risks encountered in the facility thereby reducing their effects. I.e. an opportunity for increasing staff would result in an increase in the number of personnel employed in the facility hence reducing the risk of running tasks concurrently.
Which risks that you identified are potentially the most problematic for your care setting?
The risks of running tasks concurrently and a shortage of space in the fast track ER are the most problematic to the system.
How could each risk be mitigated?
The risk of running tasks concurrently resulting in the inappropriate handling of patients can be reduced by putting various plans in place (Thomas and Patrick, 2012). More staff can be employed to ensure that there are those who work specifically in the main ER and those who work in the fast track ER. This will prevent overworking and multi-tasking of the current staff hence ensuring that all patients either in the main ER or the fast track ER are well taken care of and efficiently treated.
To address the problem of shortage of storage space, more rooms can be constructed in the health facility environs to cater for patients with acute medical problems. Given that most of the patients fall in this category, the establishment of such rooms will also be vital to prevent overcrowding in the main ER (Willamette Valley Medical Centre. 2015). More beds can also be fitted in the rooms to reduce waiting times by increasing the number of customers served at a time. Staff such as physicians and nursing practitioners should be put in the fast track facility as patients there do not require intense supervision while the main staff should concentrate at the main ER attending to critical patients. This will ensure that all patients are equally taken care of and treated efficiently in the health facility.
How have ethics and equality factored into your proposed solutions
Aspects of ethics and equality have been appropriately factored in the solution set for the risks. Health facilities are supposed to handle patients with care, and efficient administration of drugs among other services. An increase in the number of staff will reduce the staff-patient ratio reducing overworking of the staff hence proper medication to the patients. Equality is also enhanced by the construction of more rooms to handle patients in the fast track ER. This ensures that patients with acute medical conditions, however many they are, are catered for as well as those with serious medical conditions.
How will this proposal affect community health care delivery outcomes?
This proposal will affect the community health care delivery outcomes in a positive manner. It will reduce the patient waiting times for those with acute medical conditions and ensure that they are well taken care of. More medical staff will also be available to tend to them ensuring efficiency of service both fast track and main emergency rooms.
Considine, J., Kropman, M., Kelly, E. & Winter, C.(2007). Effect of emergency department fast track on emergency department length of stay: a casecontrol study. Emergency medical journal, Volume 25, issue 12.
Goodman, M. (2011). Healthcare design. Fast-track treatment in the emergency room. Retrieved from http://www.healthcaredesignmagazine.com/architecture/fast-track-treatment-emergency-room/
Thomas, C. A., & Patrick, L. M. (2012). American Clinical and Climatology Association. Emergency room crowding: a marker of hospital health. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3540619/
US acute care solutions. (2017). USACS Management group. US Acute Care Solutions. Retrieved from https://www.usacs.com/first-track
Williamette Valley Medical Centre. (2015). Williamette Valley Medical Centre. Fast Track. Retrieved from http://willamettevalleymedical.com/our-services/emergency/fast-track/
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