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Innovation in Hospital Medicine

Posted on Tue, Apr 29, 2014

innovationThis post is part of EmCare’s 4-part Innovation series where we highlight what innovation means to members of EmCare’s leadership. Follow this series each Tuesday to discover our commitment to innovation in health care.

By Mark Hamm, CEO EmCare Hospital Medicine

Hospital medicine, as you likely know, is the fastest-growing medical specialty in the country.

You could point to several reasons for the explosive growth – the proprietary technologies, the proven procedures, even staffing expertise or management styles.

The technology piece has gotten a lot of attention for EmCare. The Rapid Admission Process and Gap Orders software or RAP&GO is a patient management software tool that helps streamline admissions between the emergency department (ED) and inpatient floor.

With a few clicks of a mouse, the hospitalist is notified that there is a patient who may need to be admitted. The consult between the emergency physician and hospitalist takes place quickly because the two are now literally on the same (online) page. The patient is then assigned a bed.

Bottlenecks in the E.D. are eased; wait times are reduced by hours and admissions time is drastically reduced – sometimes by hours. Not only is the patient spending less time in the E.D. and enduring the admissions process, but RAP&GO also has physicians communicating better and collaborating more efficiently.

At EmCare, what we’d like to do is decrease the variability that is inherent in any large organization. First, you have to define the management, and then the technology since things work so rapidly. We can now do that. We can start to look at our hospitalists within different divisions on a national scale – so we will be working to disseminate best practices across EmCare-affiliated facilities.

EmCare Hospital Medicine has found its greatest innovations by focusing on standardization. We have seen first-hand that reducing variability lessens errors and leads to better overall patient care. Our innovations will continue that dedication to finding best practices, and supporting those best practices with the tools and protocols designed to guarantee optimal outcomes with every single patient encounter.

Through the EmCare Innovation Committee, we will be able to take these ideas for standardization and improvement– whether they come from the C-suite or the attending physician level, we’ll have a greater chance of being able to take a good notion and turning into something we can implement nationally to improve healthcare across the board.

Mark HammMark Hamm is the creator and architect behind EmCare’s pioneering Door-To-Discharge integrated E.D. and hospitalist service which is reinventing the way hospital medicine is delivered in the United States by improving physician-to-physician communication, helping hospitals improve hospital-wide patient flow and decrease E.D. boarding times and lengths of stay for patients in both E.D. and inpatient settings, and improving physician, staff and patient satisfaction. Mr. Hamm has contributed to a number of articles on the subjects of decreasing boarding time and improving the patient care path from the E.D. to the inpatient floor. He is quoted in numerous journals on the topic of blending the objectives of the two hospital-based specialties, and he has presented the concept at many lectures and meetings, including presenting to over 2,000 participants at the Studer Group’s annual event, “What’s Right In Healthcare.” Don't miss the panel, "Improving the Admissions Process and Improving Patient Flow and Handoff" presented by EmCare CEO Mark Hamm at the Becker's Hospital Review 5th Annual Meeting. Click here for details: http://ow.ly/vwklv.

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