Evidence-Based Management in the ED: VA’s Emergency Medicine Improvement (EMI) Initiative

SyntheSys has been working with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) National Emergency Medicine program since 2011 implementing an evidence-based management strategy in VA’s 140 Emergency Departments (EDs) and Urgent Care Clinics (UCCs).  The Emergency Medicine Improvement (EMI) Initiative deployed patient tracking software to support local site patient flow coordination while generating data for improving patient flow management at all levels of the enterprise.  In 3 years, the EMI Initiative reduced waiting time for arriving patients to see a provider from a national average of 46 minutes to 31 minutes, among other accomplishments.   SyntheSys provided strategic management, product management, adoption management, and improvement support services to help make this happen.

Read more about the EMI Initiative here

Evidence-Based Management in Virginia Hospital Center’s Emergency Department

SyntheSys recently completed a Lean Six Sigma project with the Virginia Hospital Center (VHC) Emergency Department (ED).  While process improvement focusing on reduced left without being seen patients, shorter visits for patient discharged to home, and improved patient satisfaction was the primary purpose, the project had another goal.  That goal was to better understand the value provided by a performance dashboard for conducting Lean Six Sigma projects in the ED and transitioning to an evidence-based (i.e., Lean) management approach.  The project was a success on both levels.  Patients leaving without being seen was reduced as were turnaround times for patients treated in the ED.  In addition, the performance dashboard provided support across each step of the DMAIC and established itself as a useful tool for managing ED operations in a new way.

Read more about the project by downloading the case study here.

Performance Dashboards in the ED

SyntheSys was featured in an article by David Raths, a contributing editor for the HCI Healthcare Informatics website, where he reviewed VA’s progress in establishing real-time operational dashboards across the VA’s network of 150 emergency departments nationwide.

Click here to read the full review.

VA/SyntheSys Partnership Results in ACT-IAC Innovation Award!

The American Council for Technology – Industry Advisory Council (ACT-IAC), a non-profit, public-private partnership dedicated to improving government through the application of information technology, awarded the Emergency Medicine Management Tool (EMMT) the Dynamite “High Risk, High Reward” award at its government innovation event. The EMMT is a performance dashboard that provides daily metrics to VA Emergency Departments related to patient flow and service delivery quality. It was one of 30 innovations showcased at the ACT-IAC Igniting Innovation Conference and was selected as one of only five Dynamite Awards. In keeping with the partnership nature of ACT-IAC, EMMT was a joint submission by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and SyntheSys LLC.

Chris Smith, the Igniting Innovation Program Chair, presented the Dynamite Award and commended the VA and SyntheSys, saying “We are proud to recognize the Department of Veterans Affairs and SyntheSys LLC for its dedication to advancing the mission of ACT-IAC by enabling government to improve efficiency and effectiveness through its Emergency Medicine Management Solution.”

In a recent press release, Mr. Swedberg, President of SyntheSys LLC, summarized the impetus for the award, stating “The core innovation here was Dr. Tyndall’s insight into the strategic value of digitizing the ED white boards…it provided a foundation for standardizing operations across all EDs  as it also has equipped grass roots Lean Six Sigma improvement projects.”

EMMT was represented at the innovation fair by SyntheSys staff members and featured a special virtual appearance by Dr. Tyndall via Skype video conference.

Visual Facilitation Services

SyntheSys provided clinical subject matter expertise, requirements facilitation services, and model-driven requirements definition support on visual simulation modeling efforts. These models were designed to offer a visual representation of user functional requirements that promotes user-centered design objectives for software development, as well as to supply users with a tool to help envision process redesign requirements prior to the development of new or enhanced software applications.

Specific objectives for the services provided by SyntheSys include:

  • Developed a strategy for creating a visual representation of client software
  • Designed a template for capturing requirements and modeling the “lessons learned

Flow Improvement Management Support

SyntheSys was responsible for the design and implementation of an initiative deployment training approach involving six face-to-face training workshops. We also coordinated and facilitated over 30 monthly teleconferences and three annual meetings, with no variance in project cost despite the client’s request to extend the contract by a total of nine months.gram Management Support

Our tasks for this project included:

  • Developing a new training approach
  • Coordinating and facilitating meetings over a three year period
  • Documentation, filling, and follow-up coverage on meeting actionables