Improving Patient Flow in the Emergency Department

Partnerships in Implementing Patient Safety (PIPS)

Twila Burdick, MBA, Banner Health/Arizona State University, Phoenix AHRQ Grant No. HS015921-01


By implementing a patient flow process called "Door to Doc," this project improves the safety of care for patients in the emergency department (ED) by reducing the time patients wait to be seen and by expediting admission to the most appropriate hospital unit. A toolkit contains the necessary resources for implementing operational changes, including:

  • Strategies for "Door to Doc" re-design principles.
  • Multidisciplinary training aids and methods.
  • An actionable communication plan.

Target Audience

Emergency department staff, physicians, nurses, quality and safety professionals.

Health Care Setting

Emergency departments.

Toolkit Web Site

Press Releases

AHRQ Awards More Than $8 Million To Further Implementation of Evidence-Based Patient Safety Findings
June 8, 2005


New Toolkit Helps Hospitals Provide Safer, Efficient ER Care

Impact Case Studies

Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital — Posted January 2010

Fairview Southdale Hospital — Posted January 2010

Bon Secours St. Mary's Hospital — Posted November 2009

Return to Contents

Current as of October 2004
Internet Citation: Improving Patient Flow in the Emergency Department: Partnerships in Implementing Patient Safety (PIPS). October 2004. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.