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Format: 04/19/2014
Format: 04/19/2014

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Forbes Regional Hospital Experiencing Benefits of Newly Expanded Emergency Department

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

Forbes Hospital Experiencing Benefits of Newly Expanded Emergency Department

Monroeville, PA (March 1, 2011) - This past December, the Emergency Department at Forbes Hospital completed an expansion that included adding eight beds, four physician triage rooms, and upgrading equipment. Only a few short months after opening the expansion, the department is experiencing significant improvements such as decreased patient wait times and increased patient satisfaction.

The expansion was the result of a dramatic increase in emergency department patient volumes over the last few years. In 2010, the department had over 46,000 patient visits compared to 37,000 just three years ago. Department leadership anticipates that patient volumes will be close to 50,000 in 2011.

The most significant expansion improvement is the addition of physician triage rooms. By incorporating physicians into the triage process, patients are assessed faster said Adrian D’Amico, MD, Forbes Hospital Emergency Department Medical Director. “The expanded role of the physician in triage allows for us to be more efficient and, as a result, patient wait times are reduced,” he said.

The department has made other adjustments to reduce the amount of time that patients spend waiting to be seen. The department recently hired paramedics to staff the pre-triage area. “The very first person patients see when they enter the emergency department is a paramedic,” said Joyce Schultz, RN, Forbes Hospital Emergency Department Nurse Manager. “This individual assesses patients’ conditions and triages them appropriately.” The department also hired 20 nurses and support staff to sustain the new expansion and increased patient volumes.

In addition to reduced patient wait times, the department is experiencing significant improvements in other areas. Since the opening of the expansion, the number of patients who leave the emergency department without being seen has decreased by two thirds. Patient satisfaction scores have also improved significantly and turn around time for testing, such as imaging, have decreased.

“Our goal is to have patients flow through the department in an efficient manner while receiving timely, high-quality care,” said Schultz. “The emergency department expansion at Forbes and the departmental changes that we have implemented gives us the ability to do that.”

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