Lakeland Regional’s Efficiency in Emergency Department Patient Care Highlighted in National Journal

In May, Lakeland Regional Medical Center’s Emergency and Central Transport Departments were featured in Becker’s Hospital Review.  The article titled “4 Ways to Improve Patient Throughput in the ED,” focused on the efforts made to increase efficiency in patient care.  This became an organization-wide strategic goal, and significant improvements in processes were achieved based on this focus.

With 170,000 emergency visits in 2012, LRMC is the busiest single-site emergency department in the state. As patient volume grew, the hospital recognized the need for a solution to handle the increase in patient visits while ensuring each patient received prompt attention and excellent care.

In 2010, Lakeland Regional launched a two-year project to redesign the emergency department to better serve the needs of patients and create a more effective collaborative approach to patient care. The project charter was to re-engineer the flow of patients through the emergency department to reduce wait times for patients and families, provide faster diagnostic testing, streamline and automate processes and achieve better and safer care for patients.

LRMC transformed its emergency department into a state-of-the-art, data-driven system aimed at high quality and patient value. Now, on average, emergency department patients are seen by a physician in less than 20 minutes. Because of Lakeland Regional’s house-wide collaboration, the efficient flow continues throughout the organization.  For example, patients get a bed in the hospital after the doctor admits them as inpatients 56 percent faster than the national average.  In fact, 80 percent are discharged or admitted to an inpatient bed within three hours.

As a result, the patients, families and community Lakeland Regional serves are receiving high quality care faster.  And in an emergency, time matters.

These achievements are setting national standards, prompting administrators and clinical staff from hospitals across the country to visit LRMC so that they can implement many of the same changes in the emergency departments of their own hospitals.

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