Emergency departments across the nation have been challenged by rising volumes. ED crowding is exacerbated by the increase in the number of patients with mental disorders, substance abuse problems or both, who present with acute problems. Besides the mental health conditions such as schizophrenia, mood disorders, anxiety disorders, alcohol and drug disorders and intent to self-harm, these patients often have other medical problems including diabetes, liver disease and various infections.
You thought you were one of the best hospitals in the world at treating cystic fibrosis (CF). You were wrong. Dramatically. The families didn’t know it. The doctors didn’t believe it. What to do?
While the full implications of healthcare reform are still unknown, two results are unavoidable:
1) More people will seek care under non-emergent circumstances, resulting in waiting time problems; and,
2) Financial incentives (mainly in the form of penalties) will push hospitals to deliver error-proof care.
These forces will push for levels of efficiency and quality of care that have not been previously expected or, in most organizations, achieved.