No specialty in medicine requires “efficiency” more than Emergency Medicine (EM). Being able to seamlessly and quickly move between tasks is a necessary skill to function in the Emergency Department (ED). The controlled chaos and many moving parts can be overwhelming to new learners in the department and takes dedicated time and experience to overcome. Along with learning the necessary medical knowledge, efficiency expertise is crucial to becoming a high-performing emergency physician. Unfortunately, there is minimal formal training on how to maximize efficiency skills, leading many new EM learners (e.g. medical students and junior residents) having to troubleshoot and create these skills for themselves.
ED Efficiency Themes
Research and anecdotal tips on being an efficient healthcare provider are sprinkled throughout the literature, but there are no established efficiency guidelines or consensus recommendations. Parsing through all available smattering of information in the literature, we identified 3 distinct “themes”:
- Efficiency in workflow practices: This means learning skills that maximize a practitioner’s ability to see more patients throughout the shift. These skills work to help providers navigate patients quickly through the department, maintaining constant flow and maximizing resource utilization. By improving one’s workflow practices, tasks can be completed quickly and more patient’s can be seen overall.
- Anticipating roadblocks: Situational awareness of potential hurdles allows providers to more easily find workarounds to keep patients on a forward path. Understanding the intricacies of the health system and the functionality of a hospital allows for better anticipation and planning for future impedances to patient care and progress toward disposition.
- Effective team communication: Communication is an integral part of being an EM physician. By improving communication and learning to effectively work in a team, a provider can improve their overall efficiency in the department and can decrease provider mental burden.
The ALiEMU 3-Course Series
As educators, we believe all skills can be taught. This includes efficiency skills. After distilling the available efficiency literature, we designed 3 courses, based on the above themes to best teach efficiency to new EM learners.
- Improving Your ED Efficiency 101: Efficient Workflow Strategies to Up Your Clinical Game
- Improving Your ED Efficiency 102: Anticipating and Surpassing Roadblocks
- Improving Your ED Efficiency 103: Effective Team and Patient Communication
Our FREE curriculum uses the ALiEMU platform to simulate real-world scenarios, integrating the lessons in an interactive and fun way. Learners will discover strategies to optimize their time in the ED and begin their journey toward optimal efficiency.
Examine how your ideas of efficiency fit with the strategies. These concepts may be new, or may already be a part of your EM practice. While operations vary for hospitals and EDs, the content taken as a whole represents the best practices found in the literature. These 3 themes should begin and guide your journey toward efficiency mastery.
What are some of YOUR best tips for efficiency on shift? Contact us on Twitter (Dr. Guy Carmelli @GuyCarmelli) with any suggestions or feedback.