New Registration/Triage Area in ED Designed for Faster Arrival to Triage Time
In the past decade, Highland’s Emergency Department has seen volume on the path to doubling from 28,000 in 2007 to 49,000 in 2018.
Timothy E. Lum, M.D., Chief of Emergency Medicine, and staff are continually seeking ways to address the growing volume and make the ED experience safer, quicker, and more efficient.
One of those initiatives, a new Registration/triage area, was opened for staff usage on July 2. Major renovations include a new side triage station and glass window around the main triage desk. A new staffing model puts a four-person team on the front end of the Emergency Department, comprising a Triage Nurse (RN), Patient Care Tech (PCT), Patient Registration Associate (PRA), and security personnel. The addition of 24/7 clinical monitoring by the RN and PCT will provide a safer clinical environment for patients upon arrival until they can be taken back to receive care. “The new flow will allow quicker arrival triage times that will hopefully support other metrics, such as faster turnaround times and an overall improvement in the patient experience,” said Libby Jewsbury, Senior Program Administrator, Emergency & Observation Services.
The ED has 13 full- and part-time physicians, as well as 12 full and part-time advanced practice providers (APP's) on staff. Highland’s ED recently completed the first year of its Emergency Nursing Residency Program. New graduate nurses are teamed with experienced ED nurses to get extensive training in emergency department nursing. In one year the program had three rotations of classes with six students per class. This has allowed the ED to maintain a more robust staffing pattern.
Highland’s ED has 29 beds and six treatment chairs. “We do all we can to register and see patients in less than 30 minutes from when they present at our door,” said Dr. Lum. “It is challenging but we have a superior team of physicians, APPs, nurses, and staff who are working to make the ED experience exceptional for all of our patients.”