Student Name: XXXXXXXX
EPB Journal Article in APA format:
Sánchez, M., Suárez, M., Asenjo, M., & Bragulat, E. (2018). Improvement of emergency department patient flow using lean thinking. International Journal For Quality In Health Care: Journal Of The International Society For Quality In Health Care, 30(4), 250–256. https://doi.org/10.1093/intqhc/mzy017
Is this an Evidence Based Article? Name of Journal and Year article was written?
Name of Journal: International Journal for Quality in Health Care
State the problem
What was the goal of the project?
Does this project correlate with your problem? State how?
What are you trying to achieve? Does this article support this goal?
Problem: Delays in the ED compromise quality of care and patient safety while simultaneously increasing mortality and healthcare costs. Internal inefficiencies and poor resource utilization may contribute to delays in care and overcrowding.
Goal: The goal of this project was to achieve a target time of 160 minutes (total), per patient in the ED.
· 80 minutes of “added value” (i.e. specific amount of time with a nurse and doctor for assessment, treatment, and education)
· 60 minutes for lab results
· 20 minutes for treatment steps that could not be eliminated using the Lean process
The goal of our group project is to propose a plan to decrease wait times and improve flow to care areas. The study outlined in this article directly correlates with our group project in that its aim was to tackle the issue of increased wait times leading to delay of care and negative outcomes, including decreased patient satisfaction and the increased risk for mortality. The goal of our group project is to propose a plan to reduce wait times in order to improve patient outcomes, which is exactly what the article’s researchers set out to do by proposing the use of lean principles to eliminate the unnecessary steps/processes that add to wait times.
What’s was good about your article?
Staff Input: This project was heavily supported by the ED staff and administration. In fact, the ED staff were empowered to make the necessary changes by identifying steps (waste) that slowed flow and hindered the care process. They were also tasked with recognizing processes that could be standardized to improve efficiency in care.
Leadership Style: Furthermore, the researchers encouraged a “bottom-up” approach (democratic leadership) to achieve a more enthusiastic acceptance and implementation of the plan. The ED executive team acted as consultants to help support and foster the new process to reduce internal resistance.
Cost: The implementation of the entire project was inexpensive because it did not require third party support or additional supplies.
Did this implementation take place on a unit or area like yours: Yes, this project was implemented in an ED unit.
Staff Support: According to the researchers, the most difficult problem they faced was staff reluctance to abandon their old practices and proceed with implementing the new process of standardization (which required 3 weeks of constant surveillance).
Size: This study was performed in a single ED unit that did not provide services to pediatric or obstetric patients, so it is unknown how well these results might carry over to other specialized ED units. Furthermore, to ensure proper control, the study was limited to a specific unit in the ED, MAT-3, which was the busiest unit in the ED and designated solely for urgent cases.
Patient Satisfaction: The results of this study showed that the ED staff was able to reduce wait times, overall care times, and improve patient flow using the lean process to eliminate wasteful steps. However, the researchers could have also measured patient satisfaction to determine if the lean process also improved the correlation between wait times and patient satisfaction.
Staff Satisfaction: The authors recognized that additional research should be completed to analyze how the lean process affects staff members in terms of work satisfaction, turnover, and improved use of skills.
Baseline Data: The researchers found no significant differences in the revisit rate, mortality rate, or leave without being seen rate (LWBS) after implementing the lean process. Suggestions for additional research meant to address these variables were not provided but should be explored, especially due to their relationship with patient safety.
Threats – (External)
Validity: The researchers acknowledged that one of the greatest limitations of their study was its external validity since the study was performed in only one ED unit. Their methodology might not produce the same results in a more efficiently run ED unit.
Time: The researchers also agreed that the cultural change needed to fully adapt to this new standardized process would be an ongoing endeavor that would require additional time after the conclusion of the study. The researchers discounted the first 6 months of data because they anticipated that the staff would be more willing to embrace the new process, resulting in a false-positive outcome. Their aim was to observe how time also impacted the lean process in the ED unit in the following months.
Staff Buy In: Finally, the researchers also felt that the cultural/local interpretation of lean principles might differ depending upon location and/or unit. Previous studies concluded that the lean process did not provide clinically relevant results in ED units due to lack of staff buy in resulting from misinterpretation of lean principles. In other words, the staff must understand that the lean process is not a solution but a methodology.
Total Points = 2 points
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