Manage Productivity in a Pediatric Emergency Department

Manage Productivity in a Pediatric Emergency Department

Learn about a few of the tools Children's Hospital of Orange County uses to adjust to patient volume and efficiently deliver care.
Quick Takes

  • The culture of the hospital supports decision-makers who flex staff schedules when necessary and encourages staff to embrace the practice.
  • Leaders anticipate staffing needs based on bed rounds every four hours.

Children's Hospital Association analysts compared four staffing criteria from the PROSPECT program to identify high-performing pediatric emergency departments (EDs). Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC) emerged as one of the top four hospitals.

Leaders at CHOC constantly monitor acuity levels and census throughout the hospital to successfully manage productivity in the ED. The charge nurses operate with latitude to meet the patient and caregiver ratios set by the state of California. Melanie Paterson, chief nursing officer, works with the philosophy that every nurse is a leader, and she supports that by openly discussing finances at every meeting. The repetition and transparency allow managers and charge nurses to get a clear picture of productivity levels and understand staffing strategies.

This overview explains a few of the tools CHOC uses to adjust to patient volume and efficiently deliver care.


This data set facilitates appropriate staffing standards while helping reduce costs and maintain viability in the marketplace.

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