The Emergency Department (ED) at Doctors Community Hospital serves approximately 55,000 patients annually for anything from a twisted ankle to severe chest pain. Most ED patients (86.5 percent) are walk-ins, while 13.5 percent are brought in by ambulance. To provide quality care to our patients, the ED has 46 beds and approximately 158 medical professionals dedicated to providing compassionate patient care: + 15 physicians + 12 physician assistants + 73 nurses + 15 scribes + 32 techs + 11 unit clerks.
Emergency Medicine Associates (EMA) joined the DCH family on July 1. True to its mission, quality care for our patient population in an efficient manner, EMA has reduced the wait time for a patient to see a physician by 41 minutes in the first month at the hospital. Even more impressive, the overall length of stay for a patient in the Emergency Department is down by 79 minutes. Dr. Puneet Chopra, Chairman and Medical Director of Emergency Services, noted that the ED is a true team-oriented department that relies on the support of the entire hospital from the Laboratory to the Environmental Services Department—all focused on increasing effectiveness and efficiency. With approximately 90 percent of the patients admitted into the hospital coming through the ED, “We’re the front door to the hospital,” said Dr. Chopra.
The ED has three new initiatives that will further promote patient safety, emergency protocols and efficiency:
- Safer Sign-Out — A protocol that provides standardized communication to help reduce risk and improve the safety and reliability of end-of shift patient handoffs. The protocol has three main components: incoming and outgoing physicians speak in person; both physicians visit ED patients; and physicians review a checklist of key items that need to be assessed regarding the patient. According to a study in the December issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, the rate of medical errors decreased from 33.8 for every 100 admissions to 18.3 for every 100 admissions after physicians introduced Safer Sign-Out.
- Airway Day — This educational event highlights airway management and emergency protocols such as the pre-intubation checklist. Completed prior to any intubation, the checklist ensures that every piece of equipment that can be utilized is available, the patient is prepped for intubation as much as possible and an alternative plan is in place if the initial intubation is unsuccessful. Simulated trainings are held allowing staff the opportunity to practice intubation techniques with airway equipment on mannequins. The department hopes to make this an annual event.
- PCP to ED Connect — This new service is designed to coordinate patient care between primary care physicians (PCP) and our ED by providing:
- Direct clinician to clinician communication
- Facilitate input from the PCPs on the care of their patients in the ED
- Improve patients’ experiences in the ED
- Streamline patients’ care in the ED
Primary care physicians can connect directly to an ED physician by calling 240-965-4399.