Working with other departments speeds flow

Monty Gooch, RN, BSN, director of emergency services at Middle Tennessee Medical Center (MTMC) in Murfreesboro, says that one of the keys to his department's smooth patient flow — door-to-doc time of 35-40 minutes despite steadily growing volume — is the way it works closely with other departments.

"We really communicate and coordinate with the rest of the hospital," Gooch says. "For example, we have monthly meetings with hospital bed control."

Kevin H. Beier, MD, FAAEM, a physician in the ED, adds, "Radiology, the lab, and bed management all interface with us. They try to help us resolve system problems in the monthly flow meetings."

For example, notes Gooch, the med/surg floor recently went to a system in which it pre-assigned beds two beds at a time for the ED. "The charge nurse put them aside ahead of time," he explains.