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Improving Emergency Room Patient Flow

Nurses were instrumental in developing and implementing the process of providing quick and easy access to emergency care for patients with minor, non life-threatening injuries or illnesses through the new "fast track" or "express care" approaches in all four of CKHS’ Emergency Departments.

For example, Crozer-Chester Medical Center's “SuperTrack” program, launched in October, features staff that treat patients quickly in three bays directly behind the triage area near the entrance to the department. The system eases communication between triage nurses and SuperTrack providers when it is unclear if a patient is suitable for that area. Also, the process reduces unnecessary replication of histories by nurses and physicians and ensures they are working together as a team.

Gregory Cuculino, MD, chairman of the Department of Emergency Medicine at Taylor and DCMH, reports that Patricia Eckenrode, RN, nurse director of ICU and Emergency Nursing Services at Taylor Hospital, and Bonita Ball, BSN, RN, CCRN, assistant clinical director of the Emergency Department and Intensive Care Unit, were a huge help in improving patient flow and the process, as well as ensuring quality and satisfaction in the Taylor Emergency Department.

“To a degree, we restructured our supervision to improve efficiency," he explains. "Together, with Pat and Bonita, we have rededicated the department and are focusing not only on quality of care, but patient experience of care as well.”

At Delaware County Memorial Hospital, Anne Ralph, BSN, RN, CEN, is the Emergency Department’s new nurse director, and she is working closely with staff to deliver the quality care that patients at DCMH expect.

“DCMH has a totally new face and personality,” Cuculino says. “We are developing as an Emergency Department team and working together with the nursing staff to improve the care we deliver. We have a great group of doctors and nurses committed to not only quality of care but patient experience of care as well.”