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Strategies for managing a busy emergency department

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 May 2015

Samuel G. Campbell*
Department of Emergency Medicine, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS
Douglas E. Sinclair
Department of Emergency Medicine, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS
Department of Emergency Medicine, Dalhousie University, Halifax NS; 902 473-3871, fax 902 473-3617,


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In a time of increased patient loads and emergency department (ED) exit block, the need for strategies to manage patient flow in the ED has become increasingly important. In March 2002 we contacted all 1282 members of the Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians and asked them to delineate strategies for enhancing ED patient flow and ED productivity without increasing stress levels, reducing care standards or compromising patient safety. Thirty physicians responded. Their suggested flow management strategies, which ranged from clinical decision-making to communication to choreography of time, space and personnel, are summarized here.

ED Administration • L’Administration de la MU
Copyright © Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians 2004


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