Case Study

Improving Emergency Department Labor Expenses

January 30, 2024

The 350-bed provider is part of a health system that consists of a network of hospitals that spans multiple states. This facility is considered the flagship hospital and one of the largest not-for-profit healthcare providers in the region.

The hospital opened a new patient tower including nearly 300 private patient rooms. The hospital operates a Level II trauma center and a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). The new emergency department (ED) and trauma center nearly tripled in size and added twelve treatment spaces. The comprehensive ED treats over 50,000 annual patient visits within its primary service area. Besides caring for patients presenting with acute traumatic injuries, the hospital is a Primary Stroke Center, providing rapid diagnosis and treatment for acute stroke. It also provides 24/7 coronary interventions for patients having acute heart attacks.

The hospital relocated most of its operations upon opening of the new tower. Services including Cardiac Cath Lab, Pharmacy, Laboratory, Labor and Delivery (L&D). Outpatient Services, and Central Supply remained in the legacy building. With the move came new and different work and process flows. At the same time, the hospital and surrounding areas encountered a second surge of COVID-19-related illnesses. Federal and state infection control guidelines again were implemented to “slow the spread.” These actions placed additional and undue burdens on the workforce. Challenges dealing with staff temporarily removed from duty to meet quarantine requirements resulted in wide variations with available caregivers. The workforce needed to remain cognizant with mandated social-distancing requirements and isolation precautions in its routine daily work activities and flow.

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