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Emergency room efficiency could rise by empowering doctors, new study finds

Billboards nationwide boast emergency room wait times — an oft-cited statistic of efficiency. But one way to boost efficiency, without increasing cost, may be to allow emergency department physicians to manage their own workloads, according to a new study by David Chan, MD, PhD, an assistant professor of medicine.

A Stanford Health Policy article explains:

“Chan studied two organizational models: one in which physicians are assigned patients in a nurse-managed system and one in which the doctors divide patients among themselves in a self-managed system…”

He said that by simply allowing physicians to choose patients, a self-managed system reduces emergency room lengths of stay by 11-15 percent, relative to the nurse-managed system.”