Quick triage of patients who arrive at the Emergency Department isn’t just important for patient safety. It makes hospitals a lot more popular with their consumers, as one hospital has found.
The emergency department at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Plano launched a policy called the 30-Minute Promise in October 2009, pledging to treat patients within a half-hour of arrival. The result: the hospital’s patient satisfaction scores in the Emergency Department rising above the 90th percentile of hospitals nationwide.
Last month, the Texas State Board of Nursing highlighted the service in its monthly newsletter as a best practice in patient safety.
According to Michael Webb, RN, BSN, performance improvement project manager at Texas Health Plano, “the process we have implemented for rapid triage and bedside registration allows patients to be brought back into the emergency room where they can receive the care they need from clinical staff. The radiology and lab team members interrupt nursing staff in patient rooms if needed to expedite critical testing.”
In addition,Webb writes, “team-based care defined by zones in the ED increases communication among staff members, physicians and, most importantly, patients.”
The hospital also opened the “back door” of the ED by tracking and trending the discharge order times of their physicians with the highest in-patient volume to increase internal capacity. In-patient nursing staff are responsible to ensure that discharge planning is initiated early in the hospitalization and the patient is discharged in a timely manner when clinical criteria are met.
Source: Texas Board of Nursing newsletter, page 4