Strategies for Improving Emergency Department Throughput

Reducing patient wait times and how long they are in the emergency department (ED) can improve access to treatment, increase quality of care and the capability to provide additional treatment. In recent times, EDs have experienced significant overcrowding. Although once only a problem in large, urban, teaching hospitals, the phenomenon has spread to other suburban and rural healthcare organizations. When EDs are overwhelmed, their ability to respond to community emergencies and disasters may be compromised. This session will provide an overview of the MBQIP ED Throughput measures OP-18 and OP-22, offer successful strategies that critical access hospitals have implemented to reduce ED wait and duration times, and an opportunity for local sharing to improve these measures.


Funding for this course was provided by the Health Resources Services Administration, Rural Hospital Flexibility Program (Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) 93.241).

Target Audience

Quality and Emergency Department Professionals

Learning Objectives

  • Describe the MBQIP ED throughput measures (OP-18 and OP-22)
  • Review state level data for OP-18 and OP-22
  • Explore and share ED throughput best practices and suggested strategies, including lessons learned during COVID-19
Course summary
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Janelle Shearer, RN, BSN, MA, CPHQ

Janelle has extensive experience leading quality improvement initiatives related to hospital, home health care, patient safety, and palliative care. She has led multiple community-based initiatives and recently co-led a multi-state rural community-based palliative care initiative and a statewide coordination of care initiative. Janelle has lived and worked in a rural community. She has over 20 years of experience as an RN in a rural health system and has experience in multiple areas including Med-Surg, ICU/CCU, OB, house supervisor, home health/hospice. Because of this background, Janelle has a passion for working with health care providers in rural communities to improve the care they provide.  Ms. Shearer holds a MA in nursing from Bethel University and a BSN from the University of Iowa. She is an adjunct faculty at Bethel University in the RN to BSN program.


Sophia Brasil, MPH, Senior Research Analyst, Stratis Healt

Sophia is an accomplished Senior Research Analyst with a track record of improving patient and population health through innovative and data-driven solutions. She works closely with partners who share her mission: To transform the healthcare system so that patients and communities live the happy and healthy lives that they deserve. As the lead analytic consultant for the Rural Quality Improvement Technical Assistance (RQITA) program, Sophia leverages her experience in quality improvement to support the implementation of data collection and analysis methods for healthcare entities. Her diverse portfolio of initiatives reflects her commitment to reducing health disparities and promoting public health best practices. She is a proud alumna of Boise State University, where she earned her Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences, and the University of California, Berkeley, where she obtained her Master of Public Health degree in Maternal and Child Health Epidemiology.

No continuing education is provided for this course. The user will receive a certificate of completion upon completing the course.

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