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Summa Akron City Hospital Tracks EMS Stretchers, Reduces Wait Times
The Ohio hospital is employing RFID to learn how long it takes for patients arriving at its emergency department to be transferred from stretchers to beds, which has helped it to minimize delays.
Apr 28, 2015—
Summa Akron City Hospital increased the capacity of its emergency department (ED) in 2012 to meet the demands of a growing number of patients arriving for care. To learn how much that expansion has improved the rate at which it transfers patients from ambulance stretcher to hospital bed, the ED has been using radio frequency identification technology to identify when a stretcher arrives with a patient, and when it leaves without one. The technology, provided to the hospital by Barcoding Inc., most recently has been used to identify the response time at the hospital for patients during the 2015 winter flu epidemic.
Akron City Hospital's ED treats individuals from approximately 30 municipalities for trauma, strokes or heart attacks. It serves an average of 270 emergency patients daily, for an annual total of 80,000 visits, with about 19,000 patients arriving in an emergency vehicle. That number has been growing (from 2013 to 2014, it grew 3.5 percent), in part because patients are more frequently going to the emergency room for treatment rather than for scheduled doctor visits. About 30 different agencies—such as municipal emergency medical services (EMS) and fire companies, as well as one private ambulance company—bring patients to the hospital's ED, wheeling them in on stretchers, also referred to as cots.
"We had unacceptable wait times to transfer ambulance patients from their emergency medical services cots to the ED beds," Zalewski states.
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