February 6, 2009 -- Ormond Beach, FL --- Emergency rooms at five Florida Hospital campuses (DeLand, Fish Memorial, Flagler, Oceanside and Ormond Memorial) are reinventing the way they provide medical treatment. When you walk through the door, your emergency care will begin within five minutes. That’s the concept behind the “No-Wait ER”
Nearly 146,000 people in Volusia and Flagler counties visited a Florida Hospital emergency room last year, making the “No-Wait ER” sound like a daunting task. The administrators, medical directors and emergency department leadership are monitoring performance on a daily basis, working to fine-tune the process to meet community needs.
“We’ve worked very hard to have the right players in place to make sure we are successful and working as a team,” said Alex Heggblod, emergency services director at Florida Hospital Oceanside and Florida Hospital Ormond Memorial. “We’re always asking ourselves: What’s the right thing to do for our patients?”
The “No-Wait ER” is focused on shortening patient treatment times. It is measured when a patient enters the emergency room to when a patient begins assessment, with a goal of five minutes or less. That means no more long waits in emergency room lobbies.
Each campus is working on a unique process for care delivery, and emergency department staff will continue to place a higher priority on caring for our sickest patients first, which may mean from time to time the “No-Wait ER” will be missed. Service recovery plans are in place for each campus.
Deb Palmer, emergency room director at Florida Hospital Fish Memorial, said her staff changed the triage process to deliver the “No-Wait ER.”
In anticipation of the “No-Wait ER,” Fish Memorial redesigned its emergency room and created additional triage space. “We understand when you turn to us for emergency care you are putting your trust in us during a very emotional time,” Palmer said. “Our team’s willingness to try anything new and then be empowered to make changes along the way is what’s making all the difference.”
At Florida Hospital Flagler, some process changes came as a result of analyzing peak traffic hours. The campus scheduled additional doctor and physician assistant coverage between 9 p.m. and 3 a.m. when the emergency room has the most patients.
“Our goal is to treat patients the way they would treat their mom and dad; an example of what faith-based care is all about,” emphasized Nilka Williams, Florida Hospital Flagler emergency services director. “We’re the only hospital in this community and we’re committed to delivering the kind of service that lets us walk out the door at the end of the day and feel proud to work here.”
Administrators at Florida Hospital DeLand are rotating triage nurses every four hours and remodeling the emergency room to add more patient assessment space.
“When patients leave the ER we want them to feel they were in and out quickly and their concerns were addressed,” said Pat Scott, emergency services director at Florida Hospital DeLand. “We’re a community hospital. These people are our friends, neighbors, relatives and we are proud to be here to take care of whatever they need.”
In 2007, Florida Hospital DeLand, Florida Hospital Fish Memorial, Florida Hospital Flagler, Florida Hospital Oceanside, and Florida Hospital Ormond Memorial were challenged to decrease the time to see a doctor to 60 minutes or less. The hospitals met that challenge then further streamlined the process to 30 minutes. The teams have now engineered again to offer patients the “No-Wait ER,” with care beginning within five minutes.
Florida Hospital’s innovative “No-Wait ER” concept is setting the standards of quality service higher to produce a new level of emergency care patients won’t have to wait for.
With five hospitals, Florida Hospital is the largest hospital system serving Volusia and Flagler County residents, caring for nearly 35,000 inpatients and 146,000 emergency patients every year.
Florida Hospital specializes in a wide range of health services for the entire family, including nationally recognized programs in cardiology, cancer, women’s medicine, neurology, diabet