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Efficiency in the emergency department: A complex relationship between throughput rates and staff perceptions
Karolinska Inst, Dept Learning Informat Management & Eth LIME, Med Management Ctr, S-10401 Stockholm, Sweden. (LIME/MME)
Karolinska Inst, Dept Learning Informat Management & Eth LIME, Med Management Ctr, S-10401 Stockholm, Sweden; Stockholm Cty Council, Unit Implementat, Ctr Epidemiol & Community Med, Stockholm, Sweden.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Cardiovascular epidemiology. Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Health Services Research. Univ Adelaide, Sch Nursing, Adelaide, SA 5005, Australia; Univ Uppsala Hosp, Dept Emergency Care & Internal Med, Uppsala, Sweden. (Institutionen för Folkhälso- och vårdvetenskap, Hälso- och sjukvårdsforskning)
2016 (English)In: International Emergency Nursing, ISSN 1755-599X, E-ISSN 1878-013X, Vol. 29, 15-20 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Introduction

It is well known that emergency departments (EDs) suffer from crowding and throughput challenges, which make the ED a challenging workplace. However, the interplay between the throughput of patients and how staff experience work is seldom studied. The aim of this study was to investigate whether staff experience of work (efficiency, work-related efforts and rewards, and quantity and quality of work) differs between days with low and high patient throughput rates.

Method

Throughput times were collected from electronic medical records and staff (n = 252 individuals, mainly nurses) ratings in daily questionnaires over a total of six weeks. Days were grouped into low and high throughput rate days for the orthopedic, surgical and internal medicine sections, respectively, and staff ratings were compared.

Results

On days with low throughput rates, employees rated their efficiency, effort, reward and quantity of work significantly higher than on days with high throughput rates. There was no difference in perceived quality of work.

Conclusions

There is a complex relationship between ED throughput rates and staff perceptions of efficiency and efforts/rewards with work, suggesting that whereas low throughput may be troublesome from a patient and organizational perspective, working conditions may still be perceived as more favorable.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 29, 15-20 p.
Keyword [en]
Efficiency, Emergency department, Multitasking, Registered nurse, Throughput rates, Working conditions, Work environment, Workflow
National Category
Nursing
Research subject
Health Care Research
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-301395DOI: 10.1016/j.ienj.2016.07.003ISI: 000387779100004PubMedID: 27524106OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-301395DiVA: diva2:954496
Funder
AFA Insurance, 100249
Available from: 2016-08-22 Created: 2016-08-22 Last updated: 2017-03-23Bibliographically approved

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