Emergency Nurses Association, McKesson partner on ED Benchmarks Collaborative

By Mike Miliard
10:52 AM

The ED Benchmarks Collaborative, a joint initiative of the Emergency Nurses Association (ENA) and McKesson, is now is available to hospitals seeking to improve their emergency department performance. The Web-based subscription service enables hospitals to identify trends and compare ED performance with similar organizations nationwide.

In addition, the ED Benchmarks Collaborative (EDBC) helps hospitals improve capacity management and drive positive clinical and financial outcomes.

Emergency department performance is an increasingly crucial component of success as ED patient volumes skyrocket. While some facilities have been collecting ED performance data in standalone systems for years, it hasn't been possible to compare data across facilities until now. EDBC will provide leaders with actionable business intelligence that facilitates national or regional hospital comparisons, targeted organization evaluations and sharing of best practices.

"With health reform, we're being asked to streamline the patient care process and improve safety as well as quality at the same time," said Diane Gurney, RN, president of ENA. "We need to rely on business intelligence to drive this new approach to healthcare."  

Using the EDBC online dashboard, hospitals will have the ability to submit data and access internal and national trends on 10 key performance indicators in two categories: throughput and productivity. Equally as relevant is the depth of supporting data and subsequent root-cause analysis that is behind each indicator on the dashboard, allowing subscribers to transform the data into meaningful action for performance improvement. These measures are based on definitions from key stakeholder organizations and expert insight from the ENA.

"Pediatric EDs present unique challenges that are best solved by learning from comparable providers," said Deena Brecher, RN, ENA board member and pediatric nurse at Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Del. "Comparing metrics and outcomes with other pediatric facilities will enable us to share knowledge and take actions that will help improve the quality of care that we deliver to our patients."

The EDBC can also help hospitals enhance patient satisfaction through improved capacity management, a growing challenge for hospitals across the country. The average ED wait time is four hours and seven minutes and is expected to increase, according to Press Ganey's 2010 Emergency Department Pulse Report.

Twenty-one percent of all hospitals report being at capacity in their emergency departments, while 17 percent report routinely exceeding capacity levels.

With access to the dashboard, decision-makers can quickly evaluate in-demand resources and, when necessary, correct erroneous assumptions while setting the appropriate course for performance improvement. The insight gained can also help organizations meet Joint Commission stipulations and meaningful use requirements associated with the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

"Emergency department directors are accustomed to dealing with the crises that are part of delivering emergency care on a daily basis," said Tina Foster, RN, vice president of benchmarking solutions, McKesson Provider Technologies. "With the ED Benchmarks Collaborative, they finally can analyze their performance strategically. It's a new perspective that provides the enterprise intelligence needed to achieve new and improved levels of efficiency and care quality across the country."