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A workshop to improve workflow efficiency in emergency medicine

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 May 2015

Raghu Venugopal
Affiliation:
Department of Emergency Medicine, McGill University, Montréal, Que.
Eddy Lang
Affiliation:
Department of Emergency Medicine, McGill University, Montréal, Que.
Ken Doyle
Affiliation:
Department of Emergency Medicine, McGill University, Montréal, Que.
Douglas Sinclair
Affiliation:
Department of Emergency Medicine, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS
Bernard Unger
Affiliation:
Department of Emergency Medicine, McGill University, Montréal, Que.
Marc Afilalo
Affiliation:
Department of Emergency Medicine, McGill University, Montréal, Que.
Corresponding
E-mail address:

Abstract

Objective:

The emergency department (ED) environment requires physicians to focus on workflow efficiency (WFE) and manage ED throughput. We sought to determine whether an interactive workshop could be designed and favourably perceived by emergency physicians and residents as a means to improve their self-assessed WFE skills.

Methods:

The authors designed a 4-station workshop to simulate key components of ED throughput. These included resource management in 1) acute care, 2) minor care, 3) charting and 4) communication skills and patient sign-overs. Anonymous surveys were completed after each workshop using 5-point Likert scales and qualitative responses. Qualitative data encompassed participants' past WFE training experiences and perspectives on the current workshop. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics. The workshops were administered on 2 separate occasions to different groups of physicians. The first occasion was primarily for residents and the second session was only for practising physicians.

Results:

A total of 22 residents and 24 practising physicians participated. Evaluations were completed by 45 of 46 participants. Ratings of “definitely helpful” or “helpful” as noted for each station were received by 37 of 44 respondents for the sign-over and communication station, by 37 of 44 for the minor care station, by 41 of 44 for the acute care station and by 33 of 43 for the effective charting station. Among all participants, 42 of 45 reported that they felt the overall workshop experience was “helpful” or “definitely helpful.”

Conclusion:

ED management “flow skills” are valued yet undertaught. A flow workshop designed to improve self-perceived WFE skills yields positive evaluations. Teaching this competency in a workshop setting is both feasible and appreciated by participants. Similar efforts should be considered for inclusion in both graduate and continuing medical education curricula.

Type
Education • Enseignment
Copyright
Copyright © Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians 2008

References

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