Grandview Medical Center has cut emergency department wait times using a new method to check on patients, helping it increase revenue, the hospital’s operator said.
The hospital, operated by Kettering Health Network, increased the percentage of patients seen by a doctor within 10 minutes from 38 percent to 71 percent using a new model for its ER, according to HealthLeaders Media, a health industry publication.
The hospital now uses “provider in triage” model that’s a team approach between a physician and two nurses, which is more efficient than the old model of one triage nurse.
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“This allows a provider to get a first glance at the patient and do a preliminary history and physical. The provider can then put in orders for tests that we can get started in the front while we are waiting on beds in the back,” stated Dr. Nikole Funk, medical director at Grandview Medical Center, stated in the article.
With the old process of triaging one patient at a time, it was easy to fall behind.
“The triage process can take about 5 to 7 minutes; so, if you have three patients check in, you can fall 21 minutes behind,” Funk said.
Funk says the more efficient use of time in the emergency department can also save lives and make sure critical patients are quickly seen.
The early stages of the initiative started in July 2017 and the nursing staff had a key role in launching the new model, the article stated.
High wait times can drive patients to leave, so seeing patients faster can help improve ER revenue.
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Grandview provided data that showed how before the triage model, 1.8 percent to 2.2 percent of patients left without being seen. After provider in triage, 1.1 percent left without being seen. Patients leaving against medical advice has also fallen to about 1 percent.
“Financially, you are capturing all of those patients,” Funk said.
The new triage model also helps prepare Grandview’s ER for when its competitor Premier Health closes Good Samaritan’s ER on July 19.
“We are anticipating an annual patient volume increase between 20,000 and 25,000 with that closure. Without this new process, we would not have been able to survive,” Funk stated.