TIME IS ON YOUR SIDE AT NORTHWEST MEDICAL CENTER’S ER
Tucson, AZ (October 19, 2011)— When you’re experiencing a health care emergency, the last thing you want to do is wait. Emergency medicine is about three things: compassion, skilled care and speed. Northwest Medical Center (NMC) knows the importance of prompt service – especially in the emergency room (ER).
“That’s why NMC has launched a 30-Minute ER Service Pledge – to assure patients we are dedicated not only to offering the best quality care, but also to providing that care as efficiently and quickly as possible,” said Kevin Stockton, NMC CEO.
When a patient enters the ER at Northwest, the arrival time is noted. The 30-Minute ER Service Pledge begins the minute a patient checks in at the ER desk. “Our pledge is a physician will work diligently to initially see each patient within 30 minutes or less of their arrival to begin the evaluation and treatment. When the patient is seen by the physician, the time is logged on the patient’s chart – so we can track our performance in keeping our pledge of low ER wait times,” said Stockton.
“While the goal of NMC’s ER pledge is to work diligently to initially see every patient within 30 minutes, the most critical health emergencies will always receive top priority,” said Dr. James Hassen, ER Medical Director.
The hospital records and monitors many ER indicators as part of its ongoing quality improvement process. “One of the items we track is patient wait times in the ER to determine how efficiently we triage patients and get them to a physician for initial evaluation and treatment,” said Stockton. “I’m pleased to report the vast majority of patients at NMC’s ER were already being seen within 30 minutes of their arrival time.”
For September 2011, the average wait time in NMC’s ER was 21 minutes.
The hospital is launching the 30-Minute ER Service Pledge on October 19. “We believe this service pledge will distinguish us from other health care providers in the area, and underline our commitment to the people who live and work in the Tucson community,” Stockton said.
“While we are committed to prompt and appropriate care for our ER patients, the 30-Minute ER pledge should not be misinterpreted as an effort to rush patients though the ER,” he adds. “Our process improvements focus on getting ER patients into a treatment room as quickly as possible, enabling our physicians to see a patient and begin diagnosis and treatment in a timely manner.”