Brent R Asplin

Partners in Health, Boston, Massachusetts, United States

Are you Brent R Asplin?

Claim your profile

Publications (69)262.36 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The Affordable Care Act (ACA) will have far-reaching effects on the way health care is designed and delivered. Several elements of the ACA will directly affect both demand for ED care and expectations for its role in providing coordinated care. Hospitals will need to employ strategies to reduce ED crowding as the ACA expands insurance coverage. Discussions between EDs and primary care physicians about their respective roles providing acute unscheduled care would promote the goals of the ACA. (Am J Public Health. Published online ahead of print August 14, 2014: e1-e3. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2014.302052).
    American Journal of Public Health 08/2014; 104(10):e1-e3. DOI:10.2105/AJPH.2014.302052 · 4.23 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) Task Force on Boarding described high-impact initiatives to decrease crowding. Furthermore, some emergency departments (EDs) have implemented a novel initiative we term "vertical patient flow," i.e. segmenting patients who can be safely evaluated, managed, admitted or discharged without occupying a traditional ED room. We sought to determine the degree that ACEP-identified high-impact initiatives for ED crowding and vertical patient flow have been implemented in academic EDs in the United States (U.S.). We surveyed the physician leadership of all U.S. academic EDs from March to May 2010 using a 2-minute online survey. Academic ED was defined by the primary site of an emergency residency program. We had a response rate of 73% (106/145) and a completion rate of 71% (103/145). The most prevalent hospital-based initiative was inpatient discharge coordination (46% [47/103] of respondents) while the least fully initiated was surgical schedule smoothing (11% [11/103]). The most prevalent ED-based initiative was fast track (79% [81/103]) while the least initiated was physician triage (12% [12/103]). Vertical patient flow had been implemented in 29% (30/103) of responding EDs while an additional 41% (42/103) reported partial/in progress implementation. We found great variability in the extent academic EDs have implemented ACEP's established high-impact ED crowding initiatives, yet most (70%) have adopted to some extent the novel initiative vertical patient flow. Future studies should examine barriers to implementing these crowding initiatives and how they affect outcomes such as patient safety, ED throughput and patient/provider satisfaction.
    The western journal of emergency medicine 03/2013; 14(2):85-89. DOI:10.5811/westjem.2012.11.12171
  • Keith E Kocher, Brent R Asplin
    Annals of emergency medicine 12/2012; 60(6):687-91. DOI:10.1016/j.annemergmed.2012.09.017 · 4.33 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The practice of keeping admitted patients on stretchers in hospital emergency department hallways for hours or days, called "boarding," causes emergency department crowding and can be harmful to patients. Boarding increases patients' morbidity, lengths of hospital stay, and mortality. Strategies that optimize bed management reduce boarding by improving the efficiency of hospital patient flow, but these strategies are grossly underused. Convincing hospital leaders of the value of such solutions, and educating patients to advocate for such changes, may promote improvements. If these strategies do not work, legislation may be required to effect meaningful change.
    Health Affairs 08/2012; 31(8):1757-66. DOI:10.1377/hlthaff.2011.0786 · 4.64 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Teaching ability and efficiency of clinical operations are important aspects of physician performance. In order to promote excellence in education and clinical efficiency, it would be important to determine physician qualities that contribute to both. We sought to evaluate the relationship between teaching performance and patient throughput times. The setting is an urban, academic emergency department with an annual census of 65,000 patient visits. Previous analysis of an 18-question emergency medicine faculty survey at this institution identified 5 prevailing domains of faculty instructional performance. The 5 statistically significant domains identified were: Competency and Professionalism, Commitment to Knowledge and Instruction, Inclusion and Interaction, Patient Focus, and Openness and Enthusiasm. We fit a multivariate, random effects model using each of the 5 instructional domains for emergency medicine faculty as independent predictors and throughput time (in minutes) as the continuous outcome. Faculty that were absent for any portion of the research period were excluded as were patient encounters without direct resident involvement. Two of the 5 instructional domains were found to significantly correlate with a change in patient treatment times within both datasets. The greater a physician's Commitment to Knowledge and Instruction, the longer their throughput time, with each interval increase on the domain scale associated with a 7.38-minute increase in throughput time (90% confidence interval [CI]: 1.89 to 12.88 minutes). Conversely, increased Openness and Enthusiasm was associated with a 4.45-minute decrease in throughput (90% CI: -8.83 to -0.07 minutes). Some aspects of teaching aptitude are associated with increased throughput times (Openness and Enthusiasm), while others are associated with decreased throughput times (Commitment to Knowledge and Instruction). Our findings suggest that a tradeoff may exist between operational and instructional performance.
    The western journal of emergency medicine 05/2012; 13(2):186-93. DOI:10.5811/westjem.2011.10.6842
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Cardiac stress testing in patients at low risk for acute coronary syndrome is associated with increased false-positive test results, unnecessary downstream procedures, and increased cost. We judged it unlikely that patient preferences were driving the decision to obtain stress testing. The Chest Pain Choice trial was a prospective randomized evaluation involving 204 patients who were randomized to a decision aid or usual care and were followed for 30 days. The decision aid included a 100-person pictograph depicting the pretest probability of acute coronary syndrome and available management options (observation unit admission and stress testing or 24-72 hours outpatient follow-up). The primary outcome was patient knowledge measured by an immediate postvisit survey. Additional outcomes included patient engagement in decision making and the proportion of patients who decided to undergo observation unit admission and cardiac stress testing. Compared with usual care patients (n=103), decision aid patients (n=101) had significantly greater knowledge (3.6 versus 3.0 questions correct; mean difference, 0.67; 95% CI, 0.34-1.0), were more engaged in decision making as indicated by higher OPTION (observing patient involvement) scores (26.6 versus 7.0; mean difference, 19.6; 95% CI, 1.6-21.6), and decided less frequently to be admitted to the observation unit for stress testing (58% versus 77%; absolute difference, 19%; 95% CI, 6%-31%). There were no major adverse cardiac events after discharge in either group. Use of a decision aid in patients with chest pain increased knowledge and engagement in decision making and decreased the rate of observation unit admission for stress testing.
    Circulation Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes 04/2012; 5(3):251-9. DOI:10.1161/CIRCOUTCOMES.111.964791 · 5.04 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This article summarizes the proceedings of a breakout session, "Interventions to Safeguard System Effectiveness," at the 2011 Academic Emergency Medicine consensus conference, "Interventions to Assure Quality in the Crowded Emergency Department." Key definitions fundamental to understanding the effectiveness of emergency care during periods of emergency department (ED) crowding are outlined. Next, a proposed research agenda to evaluate interventions directed at improving emergency care effectiveness is outlined, and the paper concludes with a prioritization of those interventions based on breakout session participant discussion and evaluation.
    Academic Emergency Medicine 12/2011; 18(12):1313-7. DOI:10.1111/j.1553-2712.2011.01219.x · 2.20 Impact Factor
  • Shari Welch, James Augustine, Brent Asplin
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: An abstract is unavailable. This article is available as HTML full text and PDF.
    09/2011; 33(10):33-34. DOI:10.1097/01.EEM.0000406949.97994.73
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Optimizing resource use, eliminating waste, aligning provider incentives, reducing overall costs, and coordinating the delivery of quality care while improving outcomes have been major themes of health care reform initiatives. Recent legislation contains several provisions designed to move away from the current fee-for-service payment mechanism toward a model that reimburses providers for caring for a population of patients over time while shifting more financial risk to providers. In this article, we review current approaches to episode of care development and reimbursement. We describe the challenges of incorporating emergency medicine into the episode of care approach and the uncertain influence this delivery model will have on emergency medicine care, including quality outcomes. We discuss the limitations of the episode of care payment model for emergency services and advocate retention of the current fee-for-service payment model, as well as identify research gaps that, if addressed, could be used to inform future policy decisions of emergency medicine health policy leaders. We then describe a meaningful role for emergency medicine in an episode of care setting.
    Annals of emergency medicine 09/2011; 59(5):351-7. DOI:10.1016/j.annemergmed.2011.08.020 · 4.33 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Frequent use of emergency department (ED) services is often perceived to be a potentially preventable misuse of resources. The underlying assumption is that similar and more appropriate care can be delivered outside of EDs at a lower cost. To reduce costs and incentivize more appropriate use of services, there have been efforts to design interventions to transition health care utilization of frequent users from EDs to other settings such as outpatient clinics. Many of these efforts have succeeded in smaller trials, but wider use remains elusive for varying reasons. There are also some fundamental problems with the assumption that all or even the majority of frequent ED use is misuse and invoking reasons for that excessive use. These tenuous assumptions become evident when frequent users as a group are compared to less frequent users. Specifically, frequent users tend to have high levels of frequent ED use, have a higher severity of illness, be older, have fewer personal resources, be chronically ill, present for pain-related complaints, and have government insurance (Medicare or Medicaid). Because of the unique characteristics of the population of frequent users, we propose a research agenda that aims to increase the understanding of frequent ED use, by: 1) creating an accepted categorization system for frequent users, 2) predicting which patients are at risk for becoming or remaining frequent users, 3) implementing both ED- and non-ED-based interventions, and 4) conducting qualitative studies of frequent ED users to explore reasons and identify factors that are subject to intervention and explore specific differences among populations by condition, such as mental illness and heart failure.
    Academic Emergency Medicine 06/2011; 18(6):e64-9. DOI:10.1111/j.1553-2712.2011.01086.x · 2.20 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: For acutely ill patients, health care services are available in many different settings, including hospital-based emergency departments (EDs), retail clinics, federally qualified health centers, and outpatient clinics. Certain conditions are the sole domain of particular settings: stabilization of critically ill patients can typically only be provided in EDs. By contrast, many conditions that do not require hospital resources, such as advanced radiography, admission, and same-day consultation can often be managed in clinic settings. Because clinics are generally not open nights, and often not on weekends or holidays, the ED remains the only option for face-to-face medical care during these times. For patients who can be managed in either setting, there are many open research questions about which is the best setting, because these venues differ in terms of access, costs of care, and potentially, quality. Consideration of these patients must be risk-adjusted, as patients may self-select a venue for care based upon perceived acuity. We present a research agenda for acute, unscheduled care in the United States developed in conjunction with an Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality-funded conference hosted by the American College of Emergency Physicians in October 2009, titled "Improving the Quality and Efficiency of Emergency Care Across the Continuum: A Systems Approach." Given the possible increase in ED utilization over the next several years as more people become insured, understanding differences in cost, quality, and access for conditions that may be treated in EDs or clinic settings will be vital in guiding national health policy.
    Academic Emergency Medicine 06/2011; 18(6):e39-44. DOI:10.1111/j.1553-2712.2011.01080.x · 2.20 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The decision to admit a patient to the hospital after an emergency department (ED) visit is expensive, frequently not evidence-based, and variable. Outpatient critical pathways are a promising approach to reduce hospital admission after emergency care. Critical pathways exist to risk stratify patients for potentially serious diagnoses (e.g., acute myocardial infarction [AMI]) or evaluate response to therapy (e.g., community-acquired pneumonia) within a short time period (i.e., less than 36 hours), to determine if further hospital-based acute care is needed. Yet, such pathways are variably used while many patients are admitted for conditions for which they could be treated as outpatients. In this article, the authors propose a model of post-ED critical pathways, describe their role in emergency care, list common diagnoses that are amenable to critical pathways in the outpatient setting, and propose a research agenda to address barriers and solutions to increase the use of outpatient critical pathways. If emergency providers are to routinely conduct rapid evaluations in outpatient or observation settings, they must have several conditions at their disposal: 1) evidence-based tools to accurately risk stratify patients for protocolized care, 2) systems of care that reliably facilitate workup in the outpatient setting, and 3) a medical environment conducive to noninpatient pathways, with aligned risks and incentives among patients, providers, and payers. Increased use of critical pathways after emergency care is a potential way to improve the value of emergency care.
    Academic Emergency Medicine 06/2011; 18(6):e52-63. DOI:10.1111/j.1553-2712.2011.01096.x · 2.20 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Palliative care focuses on the physical, spiritual, psychological, and social care from diagnosis to cure or death of a potentially life-threatening illness. When cure is not attainable and end of life approaches, the intensity of palliative care is enhanced to deliver the highest quality care experience. The emergency department (ED) frequently cares for patients and families during the end-of-life phase of the palliative care continuum. The intersection between palliative care and emergency care continues to be more clearly defined. Currently, there is a mounting body of evidence to guide the most effective strategies for improving palliative and end-of-life care in the ED. In a workgroup session at the 2009 Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)/American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) conference "Improving the Quality and Efficiency of Emergency Care Across the Continuum: A Systems Approach," four key research questions arose: 1) which patients are in greatest need of palliative care services in the ED, 2) what is the optimal role of emergency clinicians in caring for patients along a chronic trajectory of illness, 3) how does the integration and initiation of palliative care training and services in the ED setting affect health care utilization, and 4) what are the educational priorities for emergency clinical providers in the domain of palliative care? Workgroup leaders suggest that these four key questions may be answered by strengthening the evidence using six categories of inquiry: descriptive, attitudinal, screening, outcomes, resource allocation, and education of clinicians.
    Academic Emergency Medicine 06/2011; 18(6):e70-6. DOI:10.1111/j.1553-2712.2011.01088.x · 2.20 Impact Factor
  • Source
    Jesse M Pines, Brent R Asplin
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In October 2009, the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) convened a conference held in Boston, Massachusetts, to outline critical issues in emergency care quality and efficiency and to develop a series of research agendas and projects aimed at addressing important questions about how to improve acute, episodic care. The aim of the conference was to describe how hospital-based emergency department (ED) systems could provide solutions for broader delivery problems in the U.S. health care system. The conference featured keynote speakers Drs. Carolyn Clancy (Director, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality) and Elliott Fisher (Director, Center for Health Policy Research at Dartmouth Medical School). Panels focused on: 1) systems and workflow redesign to improve health care and 2) improving coordination of care for high-cost patients. Additional sessions were conducted to develop five research agendas on the following topics: 1) health information technology; 2) demand for acute care services; 3) frequent, high-cost users of emergency care; 4) critical pathways for post-emergency care diagnosis and treatment; and 5) end-of-life and palliative care in the ED.
    Academic Emergency Medicine 06/2011; 18(6):655-61. DOI:10.1111/j.1553-2712.2011.01085.x · 2.20 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The public, payers, hospitals, and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) are demanding that emergency departments (EDs) measure and improve performance, but this cannot be done unless we define the terms used in ED operations. On February 24, 2010, 32 stakeholders from 13 professional organizations met in Salt Lake City, Utah, to standardize ED operations metrics and definitions, which are presented in this consensus paper. Emergency medicine (EM) experts attending the Second Performance Measures and Benchmarking Summit reviewed, expanded, and updated key definitions for ED operations. Prior to the meeting, participants were provided with the definitions created at the first summit in 2006 and relevant documents from other organizations and asked to identify gaps and limitations in the original work. Those responses were used to devise a plan to revise and update the definitions. At the summit, attendees discussed and debated key terminology, and workgroups were created to draft a more comprehensive document. These results have been crafted into two reference documents, one for metrics and the operations dictionary presented here. The ED Operations Dictionary defines ED spaces, processes, patient populations, and new ED roles. Common definitions of key terms will improve the ability to compare ED operations research and practice and provide a common language for frontline practitioners, managers, and researchers.
    Academic Emergency Medicine 05/2011; 18(5):539-44. DOI:10.1111/j.1553-2712.2011.01062.x · 2.20 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Despite consensus regarding the conceptual foundation of crowding, and increasing research on factors and outcomes associated with crowding, there is no criterion standard measure of crowding. The objective was to conduct a systematic review of crowding measures and compare them in conceptual foundation and validity. This was a systematic, comprehensive review of four medical and health care citation databases to identify studies related to crowding in the emergency department (ED). Publications that "describe the theory, development, implementation, evaluation, or any other aspect of a 'crowding measurement/definition' instrument (qualitative or quantitative)" were included. A "measurement/definition" instrument is anything that assigns a value to the phenomenon of crowding in the ED. Data collected from papers meeting inclusion criteria were: study design, objective, crowding measure, and evidence of validity. All measures were categorized into five measure types (clinician opinion, input factors, throughput factors, output factors, and multidimensional scales). All measures were then indexed to six validation criteria (clinician opinion, ambulance diversion, left without being seen (LWBS), times to care, forecasting or predictions of future crowding, and other). There were 2,660 papers identified by databases; 46 of these papers met inclusion criteria, were original research studies, and were abstracted by reviewers. A total of 71 unique crowding measures were identified. The least commonly used type of crowding measure was clinician opinion, and the most commonly used were numerical counts (number or percentage) of patients and process times associated with patient care. Many measures had moderate to good correlation with validation criteria. Time intervals and patient counts are emerging as the most promising tools for measuring flow and nonflow (i.e., crowding), respectively. Standardized definitions of time intervals (flow) and numerical counts (nonflow) will assist with validation of these metrics across multiple sites and clarify which options emerge as the metrics of choice in this "crowded" field of measures.
    Academic Emergency Medicine 05/2011; 18(5):527-38. DOI:10.1111/j.1553-2712.2011.01054.x · 2.20 Impact Factor
  • Brent R Asplin, Donald M Yealy
    Annals of emergency medicine 02/2011; 57(2):101-3. DOI:10.1016/j.annemergmed.2010.07.026 · 4.33 Impact Factor
  • Shari Welch, James Augustine, Brent Asplin
    01/2011; 33(11):23. DOI:10.1097/01.EEM.0000407851.54715.00
  • Source
    Brendan G Carr, Brent R Asplin
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The 2010 Academic Emergency Medicine consensus conference on regionalization in emergency care began with an update on the Institute of Medicine (IOM) reports on the Future of Emergency Care. This was followed by two presentations from federal officials, focusing on regionalization from the perspective of the White House National Security Staff and the Emergency Care Coordination Center. This article summarizes the content of these presentations. It should be noted that this summary is the perspective of the authors and does not represent the official policy of the U.S. government.
    Academic Emergency Medicine 12/2010; 17(12):1351-3. DOI:10.1111/j.1553-2712.2010.00944.x · 2.20 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: There is a growing mandate from the public, payers, hospitals, and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to measure and improve emergency department (ED) performance. This creates a compelling need for a standard set of definitions about the measurement of ED operational performance. This Concepts article reports the consensus of a summit of emergency medicine experts tasked with the review, expansion, and update of key definitions and metrics for ED operations. Thirty-two emergency medicine leaders convened for the Second Performance Measures and Benchmarking Summit on February 24, 2010. Before arrival, attendees were provided with the original definitions published in 2006 and were surveyed about gaps and limitations in the original work. According to survey responses, a work plan to revise and update the definitions was developed. Published definitions from key stakeholders in emergency medicine and health care were reviewed and circulated. At the summit, attendees discussed and debated key terminology and metrics and work groups were created to draft the revised document. Workgroups communicated online and by teleconference to reach consensus. When possible, definitions were aligned with performance measures and definitions put forth by the CMS, the Emergency Nurses Association Consistent Metrics Document, and the National Quality Forum. The results of this work are presented as a reference document.
    Annals of emergency medicine 11/2010; 58(1):33-40. DOI:10.1016/j.annemergmed.2010.08.040 · 4.33 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

2k Citations
262.36 Total Impact Points


  • 2014
    • Partners in Health
      Boston, Massachusetts, United States
  • 2013
    • St. Joseph's Hospital, St. Paul, Minnesota
      Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States
  • 2001–2012
    • Regions Hospital
      Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States
  • 2011
    • Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
      • Department of Emergency Medicine
      Manhattan, New York, United States
    • Fairview Health Services
      Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States
    • Brigham and Women's Hospital
      • Department of Emergency Medicine
      Boston, MA, United States
  • 1994–2011
    • Mayo Clinic - Rochester
      • • Department of Emergency Medicine
      • • Department of Anesthesiology
      Rochester, Minnesota, United States
  • 2009
    • Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research
      • Department of Emergency Medicine
      Rochester, Michigan, United States
  • 2001–2008
    • University of Minnesota Duluth
      Duluth, Minnesota, United States
  • 2007
    • University of Colorado
      Denver, Colorado, United States
  • 2006
    • Montefiore Medical Center
      New York, New York, United States
  • 2005
    • HealthPartners Institute for Education and Research
      Bloomington, Minnesota, United States
  • 2004
    • Washington State University
      • Department of Health Policy and Administration
      Pullman, WA, United States
  • 1998–1999
    • University of Pittsburgh
      • Department of Emergency Medicine
      Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
    • University of Michigan
      Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States
    • Oregon Health and Science University
      • Department of Emergency Medicine
      Portland, OR, United States