Emergency Departments across Scotland have experienced significant challenges in successfully managing the demand on services and achieving the four hour standard in recent years.
Hairmyres Hospital recognised there was a need to improve systems and processes to ensure safe and timely flow of patients from ED and offered to test implementation of the ED Capacity Management Guidance. Their aim is to ensure the safety of patients attending ED by the elimination of crowding and ensuring there are steps in place to avoid having to enact Full Capacity Protocol (FCP).
Testing the implementation of the ED Capacity Management Guidance provided the site with the opportunity to develop structured processes aligned to on going improvement work to avoid crowding, as well as consider contingency plans in the event of crowding to ensure patients are safe at all times.
The Hairmyres team used improvement methodology to test the guidance and measures for crowding. This case study provides an overview of the improvement approach used, high level implementation steps, key outcomes and lessons learned.