DALLAS, TX -- (Marketwire) -- 01/08/13 -- T-System, Inc. today announced the availability of newly compiled benchmark data to help hospitals nationwide make significant enhancements in patient flow and capacity. This complimentary data is aggregated from the performance of facilities using T-System's emergency department (ED) electronic health record, The T SystemEV®. As tightening budgets and overcrowded EDs increasingly plague the U.S. healthcare system, improving throughput -- the processes that impact the efficiency with which patients move in and out of the department -- can drastically reduce long wait times, improve the patient experience and recover lost revenue through increased efficiencies.
Accessing benchmark data is critical to helping hospitals measure performance and find opportunities for improvement at multiple points in the ED care delivery process. However, today only a limited number of standard metrics exist. The few widely known benchmark sources measure only "length of stay," "door to provider time" and "left without being seen" percentages. Compounding the problem is the inability to slice the information to perform comparisons to similar hospital EDs via volume or automation.
T-System's complimentary benchmark data is accessible by clicking here. The de-identified data is grouped into five distinct sets of annual patient visit (APV) volumes that are aggregated from hospitals using The T SystemEV®. This information can help facilities measure the value of automating their ED processes or determine for those facilities with already automated EDs if they are achieving the highest level of efficiency possible.
"As a very busy 519-bed acute care hospital seeing 55,000-plus annual visits and an admission rate of 30 percent, we have found the ability to 'slice and dice' patient throughput data invaluable in identifying specific system processes to improve," said Karen Newman, EdD, MSN, RN, NEA-BC, vice president and chief nursing officer for Baptist Hospital East in Louisville, Ky.
"When hospitals automate their EDs, they measure success by more than just rate of adoption or completion of the install," explained Sunny Sanyal, T-System chief executive officer. "Going from manual to automated processes requires rethinking the entire care delivery process and looking for improvements at every point."
Continuing, Sanyal said, "Our clients have expressed frustration at the lack of benchmark information available. As an EDIS market leader, we are delighted to be able to leverage our customer footprint and make this information available to the industry. Our intent is to continue to refine these metrics and expand the breadth and depth of information."
Nearly half of all hospitals report overcrowded EDs. Unless patient throughput improves, trends such as individuals newly insured under the Affordable Care Act, high-deductible health plans, the aging population and a growing primary care physician shortage will make the problem worse. ED wait times can delay time-critical treatment and frustrate patients who leave without receiving needed care. A recently published study, "Impact of Emergency Department Crowding on Outcomes of Admitted Patients," in the Annals of Emergency Medicine found high ED crowding is associated with increased mortality, length of stay and costs.
Overcrowding and long delays in the ED can also reduce a hospital's revenue and ability to compete by adversely influencing how patients admitted through the ED rank the hospital. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and some health insurers are now cutting reimbursement rates to hospitals with low patient experience scores. Consumers can easily view these scores as well as limited unadjusted voluntary reporting on ED wait times on the government's Hospital Compare website.
T-System, Inc. advances the practice of emergency medicine with solutions proven to solve clinical, financial, operational and regulatory challenges for hospitals and urgent care clinics. Approximately 40 percent of the nation's emergency departments leverage T-System solutions to provide an unmatched patient experience. Through gold-standard documentation, revenue cycle management, and performance-enhancing solutions, T-System optimizes care delivery from the front door through discharge and beyond. Today, more than 1,900 facilities rely on T-System solutions. For more information, visit www.tsystem.com. Follow @TSystem on Twitter, or become a T-System fan on Facebook.com/TsystemInc.