Quality-driven framework for reducing patient waiting time in emergency department
Emergency department is the first admission point for urgent patients. It is characterized by the overcrowding due to the functional operations of this department. Indeed, sometimes one minute for an emergency department patient means life sustainability. One form to cope with the overcrowding problem is to reduce patient waiting time. Therefore, the study aims to reduce the average waiting time for all types of emergency department patients by using quality function deployment. It starts with involvement of all stakeholders within the department. The stakeholders include patients, nurses, doctors, and clinical engineers. The framework was designed through six steps, commencing with customer (patients) requirements identification, and concluding with the weights of technical requirements. The model has been applied on 2 hospitals. Paired samples t- test results reveal a significant reduction in the average waiting time, increasing the served patients and improving the quality of emergency department services. The main contribution of this article is utilizing the quality function deployment as a new methodology in resolving the overcrowding problem in emergency department.