On the way to the store, Ali Williams hit a pothole, overcorrected and went into a ditch. Part of a fence came through the car and a three inch wide pipe went into her leg and out through her thigh. She was flown via air ambulance to United Regional where Drs. Kevin Thomas and Michael Sheen performed surgery to help remove the pipe and Dr. Phil Stephan performed reconstructive surgeries on Ali's thigh to give her a nice shape and contour to her leg. Ali is now living the life she is meant to live.
As the only full service health care system and Level II trauma center in the region, United Regional sees approximately 80,000 patients in the emergency room each year, or 200 to 300 patients per day, depending upon the time of year.
We consider it a privilege to provide emergency care for the communities we serve and understand the responsibility that comes with that. In addition to providing excellent medical care for emergency patients, we also continuously strive to improve patient flow, wait times, and other services before the patient receives treatment.
What United Regional Has Done To Help Reduce ER Wait Times
The number of United Regional emergency room visits from 2007 through 2012 has steadily risen. In 2007, 55,000 visited our emergency room; in 2012, the total was over 81,000 – a 48% increase. We knew that to provide excellent care and timely service to our community, the patient flow process had to be improved, and we did so in 2010. In the most recent year, 2012, our average door-to-doctor time was 45 minutes and door-to-discharge time – the time is takes for a patient to arrive in the ED and to leave after treatment – was 144 minutes.
The improvements in the patient flow area were as follows:
All patients are treated as emergent patients, having the reason for their visit and vital signs checked upon arrival, and then being moved to a treatment area.
Patients with non-life threatening conditions are “expressed” to a provider in a non-urgent area, rather than the main emergency department.
The admission process is performed in the patient room, eliminating a step before seeing a physician.
Patients are awaiting medications to be prescribed, tests to be completed or discharge orders to be written, but who are not so ill that they require a bed, go to a secondary lobby. This opens beds for patients with more serious conditions to be served more quickly.
The secondary lobby has clinical staff available to keep patients updated on their progress and address any medical concerns that may arise.
And always, staff provides patients with updates on when they will see a physician, unexpected delays and the reasons for the delays, explanation of tests to be performed, test results, explanation of treatments, and anticipated discharge time and instructions.