New process will help streamline patient flow and positively affect wait times
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 9, 2017) – KentuckyOne Health is making emergency room visits faster for all patients with a new “30-minute ER pledge,” which is expected to cut down the time it takes to see a physician by 50 percent.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are more than136 million emergency department visits each year in the United States, with the south having one of the highest population-based visit rates. With such high volume, patients can easily feel lost or forgotten in the crowd. That’s why KentuckyOne Health is making it a priority to reduce wait times in the emergency room.
“KentuckyOne Health’s goal has always been to provide the highest quality emergency care in the fastest time possible,” said Bruce Tassin, president, Saint Joseph Hospital and Lexington market leader for KentuckyOne Health. “This new process ensures that treatment is received in the fastest way possible, giving patients the compassionate care they need and deserve, in a more efficient manner.”
In February 2016, Sts. Mary & Elizabeth Hospital began its $9 million ER redesign, and found opportunities for improvement in the emergency room. After seeing improved outcomes within the south Louisville hospital, the decision was made in March to begin redesigning the ER in each KentuckyOne Health facility. Each emergency room went through a four-day process to initiate the transformation. After a few months, KentuckyOne Health began the 30-minute ER pledge to patients visiting its emergency rooms.
With KentuckyOne Health’s new approach to emergency room care, patients will begin to be treated as soon as they walk through the door. This is expected to streamline patient flow and positively affect patient wait times.
As patients enter the emergency room, they are assessed by a pivot nurse, which is a seasoned health care veteran with years of experience handling the range of cases in the ER. The nurse directs a patient down the appropriate care path based on the severity of their sickness or injury.
As part of this faster emergency room process, patients are given a number from 1-5, corresponding to the severity of their condition, based on a standardized severity index. Patients with less severe conditions will receive care through a FastER path, while those with more severe injuries or conditions will receive care through a traditional emergency care path. This allows KentuckyOne Health facilities to treat patients in the emergency room at the same time, with the same speed and attention.
“These new process improvements will help patients receive the most appropriate treatment based on their conditions, and also reduce wait times – sometimes by 50 percent,” said Eric Gilliam, president, Saint Joseph East. “With this 30-minute pledge and new approach to ER care, treatment begins the moment patients walk through the door.”
The 30-minute pledge is taking place at KentuckyOne Health facilities statewide, helping to improve the emergency room experience for patients.
To find the nearest KentuckyOne Health emergency room location, visit www.chooseyourdoor.org/.
For a short video on how our patients receive faster ER care, go to https://youtu.be/gn7hGjdjCn0.