Improving Emergency Department Patient Throughput with the Implementation of a Nurse Care Coordinator Role
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Within the United States there are approximately 136.3 million emergency department visits annually and nearly 90% of designated level-one trauma centers are operating “at” or “over” departmental capacity. Therefore, the goal of this quality improvement project was to implement a nurse coordinator position whose primary focus was to facilitate patient throughput with the assumption of decreasing emergency department overcrowding. Using a pre and post interventional design, the average length of stay for admitted and discharged patients was evaluated and a nursing questionnaire was disseminated for role perception. Results revealed a noteworthy decline in emergency department length of stay for admitted patients and nursing staff expressed positive perception towards the standardized coordinator role. Key words: emergency department overcrowding, patient throughput, nurse coordinator, emergency department flow nurse.