Crozer-Keystone Makes Improvements in ‘Fast Track’ Emergency Care
- All four of Crozer-Keystone Health System’s Emergency Departments currently use “fast track” or “express care” systems to improve patient flow and increase patient satisfaction.
- Fast track/express care provides quick and easy access to emergency care for patients with minor, non life-threatening injuries or illnesses.
- Crozer-Chester Medical Center introduced a new SuperTrack program in October. Taylor Hospital recently renovated its Fast Track Area (Express Care) and its family room. DCMH expanded coverage of physicians and mid-level staff to meet the increasing need of the community.
Crozer-Keystone’s Emergency Departments are always working to enhance and refine their services. In the past few months, some major improvements have been made to enhance the quality of care delivered to patients.
All four of Crozer-Keystone Health System’s Emergency Departments currently use “fast track” or “express care” systems to improve patient flow and increase patient satisfaction. Fast track/express care provides quick and easy access to emergency care for patients with minor, non life-threatening injuries or illnesses.
Crozer-Chester Medical Center introduced a new SuperTrack program in October. In this new setup, Crozer offers a dedicated SuperTrack staff that treats patients with less serious injuries or illnesses quickly in three bays directly behind the triage area near the entrance to the department.
This change allows the patient rooms in the Emergency Department to be used for patients with more serious injuries or illnesses. It reduces the amount of time that doctors spend with SuperTrack patients while increasing the overall quality of care and patient satisfaction in the emergency department. Some of the benefits include, but are not limited to:
- Improved efficiency through less physical movement since SuperTrack is directly behind and connected to the triage area
- Ease of communication between triage nurses and SuperTrack providers when it is unclear if a patient is suitable for that area
- Improved ease of communication between SuperTrack physicians and nurses, which reduces unnecessary replication of histories, and ensures they are working together as a team
- Having all the supplies needed (suture cart, orthopedic cart, PYXIS machine for medications) on hand, reducing the time needed to get necessary equipment
“The results have been wonderful,” says Bruce Nisbet, M.D., chairman of the Department of Emergency Medicine at Crozer. “The typical length of stay for patients in Express Care was between 2 hours and 2 hours, 15 minutes. With SuperTrack, the average length of stay has been 65 minutes for the first 6 weeks of its existence. Both staff and patients are thrilled with the results of the new system.”
Taylor Hospital recently renovated its Fast Track area (Express Care). Previously, the Express Care area was on a separate floor from the main Emergency Department. Patients had to be escorted down a hallway and up one flight of stairs to get to the area. Now the hospital has four spacious rooms that are adjacent to the Emergency Department.
Prior to Fast Track, the length of stay was close to 4 hours. Since the opening of Express Care, the average door-to-doc time has come close to the national goal of 30 minutes and the average length of stay has approached 90 minutes.
Taylor Hospital also redesigned its Emergency Department to give it a more spacious, comfortable family room. This allows families to be with their loved ones as much as possible, and enables clinical staff to more easily communicate with patients’ families. The redesign also allowed Taylor to remove some unneeded items in the ED. These changes give the ED a fresh, new, open and inviting look.
“Patricia Eckenrode, nurse director, and Bonita Ball, assistant clinical director of the Emergency Department and Intensive Care Unit, have been a huge help in the improvements of patient flow and process, as well as quality and satisfaction in the emergency department,” says Gregory Cuculino, M.D., chairman of the Department of Emergency Medicine at Taylor Hospital and Delaware County Memorial Hospital. “To a degree, we restructured our supervision to improve efficiency. 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.”
Delaware County Memorial Hospital expanded coverage of physicians and mid-level staff to meet the increasing need of the community. Anne Ralph, R.N., is the department’s new nurse director, and she is working closely with the Emergency Department staff to deliver the quality care expected from patients at DCMH.
One of the recent additions was placing a mid-level provider in the triage area. When a patient presents to the Emergency Department, they can be immediately seen by a care provider and receive the appropriate care. X-rays and labs can be ordered in the mid-level area. The goal is not to have any time wasted and have the X-rays and lab results available when the patient is seen in the main ER. Although it has just begun, DCMH has seen some drastic reductions in length of stay and an increase in patient satisfaction.
“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.”
Springfield Hospital’s Emergency Department provides care for more than 11,000 patients per year. The ED was renovated in 2008. Springfield’s Fast Track program is available from 5 to 10 p.m. daily. It operates in a similar fashion as other Crozer-Keystone facilities in that the triage nurse will evaluate the patient and streamline them to Fast Track, if appropriate.
For more information about Crozer-Keystone Health System emergency care, visit www.crozerkeystone.org and click on Emergency Care” under the Services tab.