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It's got a new layout, a new look, new equipment and a new way of doing things—all to make the experience as good as it can be for you, the patient. It's the newly designed emergency department (ED) at Baylor Scott & White Medical Center – Garland, and it's been drawing raves from patients, nurses and physicians. In June, Baylor Scott & White – Garland completed the two-year redesign and expansion of its ED to design a new patient-centered experience and effectively streamline operations.
New Form, Better Function
The project, completed in three phases, resulted in a new configuration of the waiting area and treatment rooms, including:
"Not too many EDs have the luxury of their own lab and radiology services right in the department, but it shortens the wait times for test results," says Janice Walker, R.N., chief nursing officer and chief operating officer at Baylor Scott & White – Garland.
And reducing wait times across the board was what the redesign was all about. The No. 1 goal in emergency medicine is reducing "door-to-doc" time, which is how long it takes on average after walking in the door for a patient to see a physician.
According to Walker, Baylor Scott & White – Garland has cut that time in half. A new way of doing things called "parallel processes" is central to the improvement. Steven Arze, M.D., medical director of the emergency department on the medical staff at Baylor Scott & White – Garland, says, "Our goal was to change linear processes such as registration, information gathering, medical testing and the initial physician contact into parallel processes happening simultaneously."
The eight RME rooms eliminate the bottleneck caused by all patients having to be seen by one triage nurse. They're for patients who don't need an actual bed, which frees up the beds for patients who really need them.
For example, "If you come in saying 'chest pain,' you don't even go through the registration process," says Dr. Arze. "Within five minutes, you're taken to get an EKG. Your paperwork is not even filled out, and you haven't been seen by a triage nurse yet. While you're getting the EKG, they're finding you a bed. While they're finding you a bed, they're registering you into the system. And the doctor is going to review your EKG and the cardiac cath lab is going to be alerted before there's even a chart on you."
Staff members have been getting used to the changes as well. "No one is seeing patients the way we saw them five years ago," says Dr. Arze. "Back then, the ED physician wouldn't even go to see a patient until a chart was generated, the right stickers were on the chart, the patient's vital signs were on the chart, and a nurse had collected the patient history, medicines and allergies. Now, on average our physicians see patients within 10 minutes of getting the patient to the bed."
Continuous Quality Improvement
With this new system, time spent waiting for administrative tasks like registration and generating a chart is now spent on getting patients treated. Walker, Dr. Arze and the ED staff extend their thanks and appreciation to Garland and the surrounding communities for exhibiting patience during construction, and for the glowing comments they've received from patients who are impressed with the new ED and couldn't believe how quickly they were treated.
As Dr. Arze says, "The quicker we see you, the quicker we can treat you and the quicker we can get you home."
See for Yourself
To take a virtual tour of the newly expanded and renovated Baylor Scott & White – Garland Emergency Department, click here and then click on the "Take an Online Tour" video on the right side of the page.
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