LWMC Launches ER Service Pledge
Lake Wales, FL (June 1, 2012) – Lake Wales Medical Center has launched a new 30-minutes-or-less ER Service Pledge, effective June 1.
The initiative pledges that patients will be seen by a physician, physician assistant or nurse practitioner within 30 minutes of their arrival at the Emergency Room.
“It’s important to note that we are pledging that the patients will be seen by a clinical professional within 30 minutes, not just that they’ll be triaged or seen by a nurse within that time frame,” said Brittany Carson, Director of Emergency Services at Lake Wales Medical Center. “That’s a key difference in what we are offering. Other facilities may advertise single-digit wait times, but typically they are referring to how long it takes to triage or be seen by a nurse. Our Service Pledge takes it to a higher level.”
“We understand that when you’re not feeling well, you don’t want to spend hours in an ER lobby – or even in an ER treatment room – waiting to see a doctor,” Carson said. “This initiative is about providing prompt and compassionate care and, most importantly, it is part of our ongoing hospital-wide quality improvement processes.”
To establish average wait times, patients are tracked from the time they register to the time they are initially seen by a physician, nurse practitioner or physician assistant. The average wait time is updated on the hospital’s Web site, www.lakewalesmedicalcenter.com. National average wait time to be seen by a physician in an emergency room is one hour, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“We believe this service pledge distinguishes Lake Wales Medical Center from other health care providers in the area, and underlines our commitment to the people who live and work in the greater Lake Wales community,” said hospital CEO Scott Smith. “The purpose of the 30-Minutes-or-Less ER Service Pledge is to assure patients that we are dedicated to offering quality care, and to providing that care as efficiently and quickly as possible.”
Carson emphasized that the new Service Pledge does not mean patient care with suffer.
“While we are committed to prompt and appropriate care for ER patients, the 30-Minutes-or-Less ER Service Pledge should not be misinterpreted as an effort to rush patients though the ER,” Carson said. “We’ve changed our work flow and processes to better accommodate our patients. The entire team of employees and the ER physicians are committed to this pledge, long-term.”
“Although the goal is to initially see every patient within 30 minutes, the most critical health emergencies will always receive top priority,” Carson said.
Other ER service enhancements at Lake Wales Medical Center include a callback process to check on discharged patients.
“Within three days of their discharge from the ER, we try to reach patients by phone to find out if they have questions about prescriptions or other discharge instructions,” Carson said. “It’s also a good opportunity to learn ways we can continue to improve our service and to hear about employees and physicians who provided excellent service. The patients really appreciate that we are taking this extra step.”
Additional information about the ER Service Pledge is available on the hospital’s Web site, www.lakewalesmedicalcenter.com