Advanced Statistics: Applying Statistical Process Control Techniques to Emergency Medicine: A Primer for Providers


ABPP, Memorial Medical Center, 701 North First Street, Springfield, IL 62781. Fax: 217-788-6459; e-mail:


Emergency medicine faces unique challenges in the effort to improve efficiency and effectiveness. Increased patient volumes, decreased emergency department (ED) supply, and an increased emphasis on the ED as a diagnostic center have contributed to poor customer satisfaction and process failures such as diversion/bypass. Statistical process control (SPC) techniques developed in industry offer an empirically based means to understand our work processes and manage by fact. Emphasizing that meaningful quality improvement can occur only when it is exercised by “front-line” providers, this primer presents robust yet accessible SPC concepts and techniques for use in today's ED.