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Get to know our doctors, not our waiting room
September 19, 2014
Patients seeking treatment at
“This process change was paramount in improving patient flow and preventing overcrowding,” said Leanne Manring, Director of Emergency Services at MCH. “It essentially means that our patients are examined more quickly by a physician and receive treatment sooner. The continuum of care in the emergency room is now expedited, without compromising quality.”
Previously, patients who sought treatment would remain in the waiting area before being seen by a nurse. Once a triage level was determined based on the severity of their symptoms, the patient would be moved to an available bed and wait to see a physician. The physician would then place orders and the nurse would complete the requests.
The new, streamlined process allows for multiple members of the care team, such as nurses, physicians and technicians, to simultaneously provide treatment.
"We are now following a process where the nurse will determine why the patient came into the emergency room and direct them immediately to an available bed, and using protocols, will begin to order tests and start treatment," said Manring. "All of this is accomplished as the physician is meeting with the patient sooner in the process.
For example, if a patient is presenting symptoms such as chest pain, blood can be drawn before the nurse completes the initial assessment because lab tests will inevitably be ordered. The lab tests are done while the nurse and physician are completing the initial assessment.
In emergency rooms across the country, the time in which it takes to be seen by a physician can directly effect patient satisfaction and whether or not the patient will leave before being seen.
"The less time patients have to wait, the more satisfied they are with their service," said Manring. "We have an understanding of our patients and we want them to have a quality experience. We aim to care for our patients as we would expect to be cared for if we had to seek treatment."
Increased patient satisfaction is evident in the service excellence surveys that are analyzed by Premier Physician Services, MCH's emergency management partner that gathers and reviews data to make sure that goals are being met. In June, all 28 patients who returned surveys indicated the highest level of likeliness to recommend the emergency room to others.
The physicians and staff in the emergency room are also receiving positive feedback from patients regarding the timeliness of their care. For example, one patient commented on a satisfaction survey, "I didn’t even have to sit in waiting area. I was taken back to a bed immediately!" Another family member posted on social media, "My mother was seen inside of ten minutes last month. Thank you for such great care."
*Average emergency department door to doctor time for June 2014.