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We value your feedback: Grande Ronde Hospital launches fast track emergency care

Wait times are shorter, and patients are admitted and released faster.

Our mission at Grande Ronde Hospital (GRH) is to keep you healthy—and happy!

We take patient satisfaction seriously at GRH. Our quality department monitors hospital performance through a variety of means, including soliciting your feedback through our patient satisfaction surveys.

We value your feedback. As great as it is to hear when we have provided you with the exceptional care we always strive to give, we want to know where we can improve. We hope to be able to point to the changes we’ve made with you in mind and say, “We’re listening!”

Care on the fast track

Improving patient satisfaction was the driving force behind the development of our new fast track in the emergency department (ED). Patient feedback set the parameters for our goal to improve wait times as well as our effort to increase overall patient satisfaction with our emergency services.

GRH developed triage and tracking processes to assess the level of care needed by ED patients for appropriate treatment and also to improve the level of communication between ED staff and patients or family members.

The strategy centered on the addition of two experienced family nurse practitioners to the ED medical staff: Karen Phelps, who is from Palm Harbor, Fla., where she worked at an urgent care walk-in clinic, and Don Williams, who is from the Chicago area, where he practiced alongside physicians in an urgent care clinic. Their presence means patients who do not have life-threatening issues have quicker access to care, freeing emergency physicians to focus on treating those patients who do.

GRH also added a new ward clerk position in the ED, increased overall staffing during the busiest times of the day, added extra nursing staff on Fridays and weekends, and installed an electronic tracking board that helps monitor the progression of patients.

These changes are already making a difference. Wait times are shorter, and patients are admitted and released faster.

By the numbers

In the past two years, GRH has seen a significant increase in patients accessing emergency care. In 2008, the ED saw 12,140 patients. This was an increase of 1,640 patients over its norm of 10,500, the five-year average dating back to 2003. This means that patient traffic jumped suddenly in one year from an average of 875 visits a month to 1,012. Current trends indicate that the use in 2011 will increase by at least 1,500—to 13,500 annual visits, which translates to 1,125 patients each month or an average of 37 patients every 24 hours.
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