Dr. Howard Forman, professor of diagnostic radiology, economics, and public health and directory of the healthcare curriculum in Yale SOM’s MBA for Executives program, has won the 2018 Journalism of Excellence Award from American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) for a commentary published in the Wall Street Journal.
In the April 2017 article, titled “Why Hospitals Need to Stop Boarding Patients in Emergency Rooms,” Forman writes that many crowded hospitals leave patients lying on stretchers in the emergency room for long periods of time, even after admitting them, with a negative impact on their satisfaction, length of hospital stay, and mortality.
In other industries, such an experience would lead to rapid operational redesign and surge management to minimize harm. Airlines have figured out how to move hundreds of thousands of travelers after major storms; and utilities, too, know how to manage disasters due to weather events. In each of these cases, there is a short-term impairment of services that is quickly resolved. And yet in health care, boarding appears to be as bad as ever, becoming part of the day-to-day functioning of our ERs and the patients that need their services as just another inconvenience of being sick, rather than a problem to be solved.
Forman, who also directs Yale’s joint MBA-MD program, was honored by the ACEP during its annual ACEP’s annual Leadership & Advocacy Conference in Washington, D.C., this week.