Inefficient emergency department to inpatient handoff processes can contribute to delayed care.
The average emergency department length of stay for admitted patients and admission wait times at this institution were well above national averages, and a standard handoff process was lacking.
Lean methodology was used to evaluate flow and identify opportunities for improvement.
Two tools were developed to standardize handoff.
Emergency department length of stay and admission wait times were not significantly improved following intervention implementation. However, patient transfer time decreased significantly (P < .01, F = 29.02) from 30.5 minutes (SD = 18.2) to 21.7 minutes (SD = 7.4). The length of time to give/receive report also decreased significantly (P = .04, F = 2.2) from 3.8 (SD = 1.6) minutes to 2.8 (SD = 1.2) minutes.
Although length of stay and admission wait times did not decline significantly, implementation of standard work and tools can potentially improve patient flow.