Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Strawderman, Lesley

Committee Member

Greenwood, Allen

Committee Member

Babski-Reeves, Kari

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Science


James Worth Bagley College of Engineering


Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering


This research examined the impact of ED process complexity on hospital quality outcomes. Nine emergency department nurse managers from hospitals in Mississippi, Alabama, and Louisiana were interviewed regarding processes of registration, laboratory testing, medication administration, radiology, and discharge. Interview data was coded according to variables in proposed equations for patientocused, providerocused, and overall process complexity. Hospital quality was measured using existing process of care, outcome of care, and patient satisfaction standards. Results showed a strong negative correlation between process complexity and overall quality, suggesting that hospitals with lower process complexity experience higher quality outcomes. Regression analysis showed that the average number of patient steps in a process and the overall complexity the registration process were significant predictors of overall quality. Methods of reducing patient steps and registration process complexity are discussed.



healthcare quality||process complexity||emergency departments