A group of nine associations representing emergency department workers have signed a consensus statement that for the first time proposes standardized emergency department metrics, with an eye toward creating benchmarks that will inform strategies to reduce emergency department crowding and boarding, according to the Emergency Nurses Association (ENA).
ENA spearheaded the effort, reaching out to stakeholder organizations and convening the first meeting on developing standardized metrics February 2009.
"Emergency department crowding is a serious healthcare problem that is only getting worse," said ENA President, AnnMarie Papa, DNP, RN, CEN, NE-BC, FAEN. "Addressing it is one of ENA's top clinical priorities, but we can't solve a problem if we can't agree on how to quantify it. This consensus statement is a first and important step in reducing crowding and boarding in emergency rooms and helping us provide better and faster care to our patients."
In addition to ENA, organizations signed onto the final statement include the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses; American College of Emergency Physicians; American Nurses Association; Association of periOperative Registered Nurses; Emergency Department Practice Management Association; American Academy of Emergency Medicine; American Academy of Pediatrics; and the National Association of EMS Physicians.
The statement includes the six agreed-upon definitions:
- what an ED is;
- arrival time;
- offload time;
- transfer of care from prehospital providers time;
- triage time; and
- treatment-space time.
To access the consensus statement, click here.
"By working together, the EMS, nursing and physician communities have achieved an important consensus on these metrics," added Papa. "Now we can begin the process of quantifying the issues we face in emergency medicine so that we can find the solutions we all know are needed."