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Memorial Regional Medical Center Makes Emergency Care Guarantee
Hospital Pledges Patients Will Receive Care in 30 Minutes or Less
Richmond, Va. (July 13, 2006) Bon Secours Richmond Health System is expanding its promise to serve emergency patients in 30 minutes or less to Memorial Regional Medical Center in Hanover County. Any patients who walk through the Emergency Department doors or are brought in by Emergency Medical Services (EMS) can count on being seen by a physician or have their treatment started in 30 minutes or less. Bon Secours is the only hospital system in Virginia to make such a guarantee.
“We have made a commitment to the community that patients will be seen within a certain amount of time.” said Michael Robinson, executive vice president and administrator for Bon Secours Memorial Regional Medical Center. “Our promise is to have patient care started by a physician or a member of our emergency team in the shortest time possible.”
That means, said Robinson, that if physicians are with other patients, the emergency team will begin blood work and other medical procedures to begin the care process.
The effort, which began on July 1, is a hospital-wide commitment led by Bon Secours emergency medical staff and nurses in collaboration with their colleagues throughout the hospital. The testing ground for the program began at St. Francis Medical Center, Bon Secours’ hospital in southern Chesterfield County, last March.
“We have an excellent emergency team in place, and the hospital has gone through an intense and extensive planning process for this program over a six-month period,” said Robinson. “This is about much more than seeing patients in less than 30 minutes. It’s about quality of care and improving efficiency.”
Robinson credits areas outside the emergency department for their commitment to the program. Departments of radiology, laboratory services, inpatient nursing units, case management and other departments and areas within the hospital make the commitment possible.
In a recent survey nearly 90 percent of patients rated the overall quality of the care they received in the Emergency Department at Memorial Regional excellent. “We have seen a continuous climb in patient satisfaction since we implemented this program,” said Robinson. “It has shown phenomenal impact. On average emergency patients are being seen in 23 minutes.”
Like its colleague Emergency Department at St. Francis, Memorial Regional will offer an apology and a set of movie tickets to patients if the 30-minute commitment is not met.
“We want patients to know that they are a priority, particularly in an emergency situation,” said Robinson. “It’s a small token, but we want patients to know that they are a priority when they walk through the doors at Memorial Regional.
The policy is not in effect if there are: local or regional disasters; multiple critical care patients in the emergency room; if the hospital is 100 percent full or if Memorial Regional or other local hospitals are on diversion.
Memorial Regional Medical Center ’s Emergency Department has an ever-widening coverage area. It includes Hanover County, the corridors of 295 and 95 North towards Fredericksburg, as well as increasing traffic from areas in Short Pump and the West End.
With an average of 4,000 patient visits per month, Memorial Regional projects 48,000 patient visits for this year. The Emergency Department team cares for both adult and pediatric patients, with physicians, nurses and physician assistants or nurse practitioners on duty 24-hours-a-day.
Memorial Regional Medical Center is part of the Bon Secours Richmond Health System, a not-for-profit Catholic health system.