Marrero, La. — When you’re experiencing a healthcare emergency, the last thing you need to do is wait. Emergency medicine is about three things: compassion, skilled care and speed. West Jefferson Medical Center (West Jefferson) knows the importance of prompt service – especially in the emergency room (ER). “When emergencies happen, every minute counts. That’s why West Jefferson has launched a 30-Minutes-or-Less ER Service Pledge – it’s our commitment to our patients that our medical staff will work diligently to have them initially seen within 30 minutes of their arrival at our emergency room,” said Rob Calhoun, President & CEO for West Jefferson.
When a patient enters the ER at West Jefferson, the arrival time is noted. The 30-Minutes-or-Less ER Service Pledge begins the minute a patient checks in at the ER desk. “When the patient is seen by one of our emergency physicians, the time is logged so we can track our performance in keeping our pledge of short ER wait times,” said Calhoun.
“While the goal of West Jefferson’s ER pledge is to work diligently to initially see every patient within 30 minutes of their arrival, the most critical health emergencies will always receive top priority,” said Dr. Andrew Mayer, ER Medical Director.
West Jefferson records and monitors many ER indicators as part of its ongoing quality improvement efforts. “One of the items we track is patient wait times in the ER to determine how efficiently we triage our patients and get them to an emergency physician for initial evaluation and treatment,” said Calhoun. “We believe this service pledge will underscore our commitment to provide quality emergency care to our patients who live and work in the Westbank community and beyond.”
“Though we’re committed to prompt, appropriate, and one-of-a-kind care for our ER patients, the 30-Minutes-or-Less ER pledge should not be misinterpreted as an effort to rush patients though our ER,” Calhoun adds. “Our process improvements focus on getting ER patients into a treatment room as quickly as possible, enabling our emergency physicians to see a patient and begin diagnosis and treatment in a timely manner.”
The ED wait time represents the time it takes from arrival until a patient is initially seen by an emergency physician. Patients are triaged upon their arrival in the ED. They are then seen by an emergency physician in an order based on their complaint, condition, and the reason for their visit. While many patients are initially seen by an emergency physician within 30 minutes of their arrival, during some peak times when the number of patients and/or trauma situations exceeds the number of providers or beds, some patients are not initially seen within 30 minutes of their noted arrival.