An AP article in the Tuesday edition of The Telegraph covered the increasingly popular practice of displaying Emergency Department wait times on bulletin boards. Some ED’s are advertising how long the wait for care will be in their ED. It is real-time information that allows the consumer to make a choice about where to receive care.
According to Dr. Nick Jouriles, emergency medicine chief at Akron General Hospital in Ohio, “The longer people stay in the emergency department, the more likely they’re going to have complications, deaths. If they’re elderly, they’re more likely to end up in a nursing home.”
So how does KSB compare? I went back and looked at Arbor (KSB’s patient satisfaction vendor) data beginning in April 2001. In this time period of over 9 years 1,904 patients were surveyed. An amazing 84.7% (1,613) self-reported as being seen in less than 30 minutes.
If you carry this out to 1 hour the percentage jumps to 91.5%! 9 out of 10 patients surveyed are seen in less than one hour. I’ll put that up against any ED in the country.
Do we have rare examples of patients that wait several hours in KSB’s ED? Sure we do. Dr. Gould and her team of physicians see patients based on acuity. The sickest get seen first. The statistics reported are snapshots; some people do experience long waits. But I know our nurses and physicians work hard every day to provide world-class care in a timely manner, and I couldn’t be more proud of the work they do.
Do you have suggestions on how to decrease ED wait times? Hit the comment button and give me your thoughts.