While emergency room overcrowding and long waits to receive care plague hospitals across the country, Atlantic General Hospital has continued to improve efficiencies and shorten wait times in its emergency department.
Efforts to streamline care along with the implementation of new technology that speeds the flow of patient information and medication have been so effective that the 62-bed acute care hospital is now rolling out a 30-minute ER Promise: patients will be placed in an exam bed or will begin to receive treatment within 30 minutes of arrival at the hospital.
In a time when waiting hours for care is becoming increasingly common in other markets, Atlantic General Hospital’s administration is enthusiastic about this measure and what it indicates about the community’s access to care.
“Individuals who need emergency care should not have to wait for treatment. For the patient, time spent in a bogged down emergency department can make a frightening situation even more stressful.” said Michael Franklin, president and CEO of Atlantic General Hospital. “We want to show the community that our attention to their swift care and comfort is foremost in our minds.”
Currently, Atlantic General Hospital’s emergency department provides the shortest average wait times of any hospital on the Shore.
“The ER 30 Minute promise was conceived in effort to educate individuals in the community about what to expect from a visit to Atlantic General Hospital’s Emergency Department,” said Andi West-McCabe, director of Emergency Services at Atlantic General Hospital. “It’s become a foregone conclusion that, as a patient, you have to battle a long wait in a crowded emergency room to receive the care you need.
We don’t want individuals who are truly in need of emergency care to delay in coming to the hospital because they dread what they will find there,” she said. “And, we want to let them know they will receive some of the speediest care on the shore, from experienced emergency physicians who serve three area hospital emergency departments.”
About the Promise
The thirty-minute time frame begins the moment an individual comes through Atlantic General Hospital’s doors until the time he or she is placed in an exam bed or begins to receive treatment. Initiation of treatment can encompass several aspects of care, such as administration of pain medication, an x-ray or lab testing.
Any individual who waits more than 30 minutes will receive a free gift as a thank you for his or her patience.
For more information about the Emergency Department or the new ER 30-Minute Promise, please contact Andi West-McCabe, director of Emergency Services at Atlantic General Hospital, at 410-641-9664.
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