Hospitals hoping to speed up emergency room care

August 2, 2011 2:30:12 PM PDT
Emergency rooms are adopting so-called lean management principles to get patients through the ER system faster.

It's an approach pioneered by companies like Toyota. The goal is to increase efficiency, cut costs and provide better service.

A story in Tuesday's Wall Street Journal says, in many cases, the traditional methods of triage will be altered. For example, beds will be mostly reserved for the sickest patients. This abandons the long-standing rule that every patient gets a bed.

Many of the changes are being made in light of recent studies. They show, in some states, an estimated 20 percent of patients get fed up and leave the ER without being seen.

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