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Alton Memorial’s improved wait times getting noticed

amhwaittimesALTON — Alton Memorial Hospital’s Emergency Department is getting noticed by other hospitals for its work in reducing wait times.

Aaron Valleroy, Performance Improvement consultant for AMH, said that great progress has been made in reducing the time between when the ED physician does an admission order and when the patient is admitted to an inpatient room.

He said this performance is what sparked other hospitals, like Missouri Baptist Medical Center and Christian Northwest, to visit and observe.

“Through physician education and real time charting, plus input from our hospitalists, the time was able to be reduced from approximately 100 minutes to 58 minutes by the end of 2016,” Valleroy said.

Valleroy said that an “admit communication process” has been developed for the ED physicians and hospitalists, as well as education on testing that can be done on inpatient floors rather than while the patient is still in the ED.

Meanwhile, Becky Miller, assistant manager of the ED, said a recent remodeling led to a change of process to improve times for the patient’s entire length of stay.

“If there are any open rooms, the patients do not go into triage,” Miller said. “They go directly to a room to decrease their length of stay and get them treated in a timelier manner. Also, we now have a results pending room where the patients are moved to after their tests are completed to await their results.”

Cindy Bray, manager of the ED, said that cooperation between staff members has been vital in the process.

“The ED staff, the physicians and the inpatient staff have embraced this process, which has made it such a success,” she said. “We have excellent staff at AMH. They are always willing to take on new challenges to improve the care we give to our patients.”

Looking at a patient’s chart in the AMH Emergency Department are, left to right, Samantha Jarman, RN; Nikki Brunaugh, RN, charge nurse; and Dr. Thomas Freeman, an ED physician.

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