3 Challenges and Solutions for Emergency Care in 2024

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Top Story: 3 Challenges and Solutions for Emergency Care in 2024

Emergency Departments (EDs) stand at the forefront of healthcare, continuously battling rising patient discontent, overcrowding, and staff burnout. Patient satisfaction metrics are vital indicators of emergency care quality, and ED satisfaction ratings remain among the lowest year over year.  

A 2021 Journal of Medicine and Primary Care study found that the highest patient satisfaction scores were when the medical team posed questions related to follow-up care (61%) and regarding post-ED departure symptoms (58%). 

On the other hand, the lowest patient satisfaction scores were linked to queries about the adequacy of time spent by nurses (33%) and by doctors (34%).

Digital health technologies optimize the doctor-patient relationship and transition healthcare toward value-based treatment. Now more than ever, providers are searching for tools and methods to invest in their emergency departments. 

Let’s explore solutions to 3 pressing challenges of emergency care, including overcrowded EDs, hospital staff shortage, and violence concerns to craft efficient and top-tier patient and staff experiences.

Overcrowded EDs affect the quality of patient care

Overcrowding in EDs is a global phenomenon that leads to long patient wait times and negatively impacts the entire hospital management system. According to an October 2022 Institute of Medicine study, over 90% of US emergency departments report overcrowding as a problem, and nearly 40% report that overcrowding occurs daily.

GetCareNow streamlines patient care, reducing overcrowding in EDs

GetCareNow (GCN) streamlines care and enables patients with non-life-threatening medical conditions to schedule appointments online and skip the waiting room at ED and urgent care centers.

GNC’s online registration forms allow patients to book appointments directly with your emergency room or urgent care center at any time via your website. Patients then receive projected treatment times from the comfort of their own homes rather than the crowded waiting room. 

Symptom pre-screening allows providers to prioritize patients as needed. But, life-threatening cases are sent directly to the ER.  During high turnover, GCN can be deactivated and display messages informing providers that there are too many people. Additional patients are sent to another urgent care center or ER. 

Healthcare worker burnout is on the rise

The challenges within our healthcare system are pushing numerous healthcare professionals toward burnout due to excessive workloads, administrative burdens, demanding pace, and emotional intensity. These stressful environments create a significant strain on physical, emotional, and psychological well-being. Consequently, patients may experience difficulty getting care when they need it.

In April 2023, the Journal of Internal Medicine discovered that burnout rates were comparable between nurses (56%), clinical staff (54%), doctors (47%) and non-clinical staff (46%). 

When work overload was present, healthcare workers had 2.2 to 2.9 times the risk of experiencing burnout. Overloaded doctors and other healthcare workers had 1.7 to 2.1 times the risk of intending to leave their jobs in the next two years.

GetCareNow expedites the check-in process for patients, reducing staff burden

GetCareNow accelerates the check-in procedure for hospital staff by informing them about the anticipated number of incoming patients. The staff can then utilize the details from the patient’s e-registration to guarantee that all necessary preparations are in place for the patient’s care requirements, and get them to the correct waiting place, such as an orthopedist or pediatrics. 

The tool also offers EHR/EMR system integration to help boost the security of patient data and bring even more efficiency to hospital staff. 

Violence in EDs may reach a crisis point

ED violence not only affects patients in waiting rooms but healthcare workers as well. ED workers experience the highest rates of injuries caused by workplace violence (WPV). In a 2023 UC Irvine study, all ED workers reported experiencing some type of verbal abuse, and nearly all experienced some type of physical assault. 

As per a 2022 ACEP survey, 85% of emergency physicians believe the rate of violence in EDs has increased over the past five years.

GetCareNow enhances patient and provider safety

GetCareNow expedites patient access to care, easing potential challenges during peak ED hours, including instances of violence and problematic patient behavior. Consequently, staff can consistently uphold high-quality care standards while prioritizing safety around the clock.

EDs are uniquely positioned in their ability to shape a patient’s first impression as they navigate the healthcare system. With GetCareNow, patients can wait at home instead of crowded ED waiting rooms, receive projected treatment times, and stay informed with automated phone and email alerts for delays.

“Our priority is to provide patients an exceptional experience, and that includes the ability for patients to schedule an appointment online and wait safely at home,” said Derrick Glum, CEO of Saint Mary’s Health Network. “We know life is busy, and our team of caregivers in the emergency room is honored to ease the stress involved in these situations. We always strive to deliver the very best care.”

GetCareNow modernizes the emergency experience for the better by enabling more accessible and convenient care services to patients, as well as empowering the overburdened hospital staff with simplified tools. Ready to learn more? 

Request a free, personalized demo today!

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