Health technologies at the forefront for ER efficiency

healthcare emergency waiting time ambulance continuum sante health

Last week, several media reports highlighted the increase of wait times in the emergency departments in Quebec, despite the decrease in the number of patients. These articles [1] state that the median length of stay for stretcher patients has increased by 14 minutes to 9.4 hours. Same observation for ambulatory patients and for patients at large. Not only that, the same increase can be observed for the number of very long stays. All of these increase despite the fact that the total number of emergency room visits decreased by -1.7%.

These numbers come as a surprise to us and the community. The public is appalled. Health is everyone’s business. We all consume care or will eventually consume it. More and more technological tools are available to ensure that managers and clinicians are better equipped with tools order to help improve efficiencies. Hospital management must not be done in a compartmentalized way but rather in a transversal way. Waiting time in the emergency department is directly related to the availability of beds on care units and patient care. We know that several unforeseen events can occur in a hospital, such as the arrival of ambulances, lack of personnel and numerous high priorities, but with the right tools and data it is possible to increase efficiency and reduce waiting times.

At Continuum Health, we know that these major problems can be addressed by encouraging hospitals to use more versatile and current technologies and systems than those currently in place.

This is where cloud computing comes into play.

Our cloud computing platform, Intellium, offers several possibilities that contribute to increasing hospital efficiency and patient care. By being accessible in real time on cell phones and tablets, it offers managers the possibility of having immediate access to several indicators and thus being able to react quickly.

For example, here are a few indicators we can highlight with Intellium:

  • Waiting time in the emergency room;
    • Management;
    • Consultations;
    • Diagnostic tests;
    • Arrival by ambulance;
  • Present and future availability of beds on care units.

This type of solution also allows clinicians to know the list of patients who have recently come to the emergency room, facilitate better management and reduce the risk of return. An alarm can be sent to the pivot worker so that he or she is notified of the presence of one of his or her patients in the emergency room and can be treated quickly. This allows to skip a step and have a quick entry into our patient’s file. In addition, by working in collaboration with the various actors in the network, it is possible to create precise and searchable dashboards that highlight essential data. Our experienced analytical team creates reports that facilitate accessibility, learning and autonomy in the management of multiple data.

The coming years will bring many challenges as the population ages and the prevalence of certain diseases increases. In addition, constantly evolving technological solutions have the potential to streamline certain impressive processes in order to improve the quality of our services and, above all, in this case, the precious time lost in emergencies every day. We must therefore act now on the issues we can manage and offer our patients better health care. We hope that the following year will bring a breath of fresh air with more positive and innovative results on the front page of the media!

[1]
Urgences : moins de patients, plus d’attente (lapresse.ca)
Temps d’attente dans les urgences du Québec (indexsante.ca)
Le temps d’attente dans les urgences continue d’augmenter (journaldequebec.com)
Urgences : moins de patients, plus d’attente (iedm.org)

About The Author

Marie-Josée Letendre

Marie-Josée Letendre joined the Continuum Health team less than a year ago as a Product Specialist. Since she became a nurse in 2005, she has earned three certificates and a bachelor of Science from Université de Montréal in 2016. Her nursing career began at Charles-Le Moyne hospital, first in postoperative general surgery and then in hemodialysis. She also taught the Health, Assistance and Nursing (SASI) program to nursing assistants before joining the team at CSSS Lucille-Teasdale. Then, she moved on to the CISSSO de Gatineau and worked in ambulatory services at a local community service centre (CLSC), in inmate services, at the access desk and, finally, in public health. Marie-Josée is able to combine her two passions within our team: contributing to the implementation of high-performance healthcare solutions and travelling. Her suitcase is always packed!