A dramatic redesign has allowed the busiest emergency department in Florida to drastically decrease wait times while improving other key metrics, now exceeding the national average by 38 percent. This dynamic turnaround not only improved operations for the Lakeland Regional Medical Center’s emergency department (E.D.), but earned the redesign team the prestigious 2014 Genesis Cup award.
The Genesis Cup is an award for healthcare innovation presented each year by EmCare, a leading national physician practice management company. This year’s Genesis Cup honoree, a team that works in the Lakeland E.D. in Lakeland, Fla., presented its award-winning redesign during EmCare’s Annual Leadership Conference at The Wynn in Las Vegas on April 23.
“The Lakeland E.D. [emergency department] is the busiest single-site E.D. in Florida,” said Dr. Jim Melton, III, medical director for the Lakeland E.D. “It had roughly 170,000 ED visits in 2012 and is on track to have more than 180,000 E.D. visits this fiscal year. Despite the increase in volume, the E.D. has managed to decrease wait time, length of stay rate and rate of patients leaving without being treated. These improvements are the result of an E.D. redesign that began in 2011, driven by the hospital’s executive leadership.”
“This team personifies EmCare’s mission of making healthcare work better,” said Dr. Dighton Packard, EmCare’s chief medical officer. “When you are able to reduce wait times, improve patient flow, and improve the patient experience– it ultimately leads to improved outcomes for the patient.”
The redesign clearly led to improvements for Lakeland Regional Medical Center’s E.D.:
- E.D. volume increased 16.5 percent from January 2011 to January 2013
- On average, patients are now assessed by a physician in 20 minutes or less the time from when a patient arrives in the E.D. to when he/she is seen by a healthcare practitioner is 38 percent faster than the national average
- The average length of stay is about two hours Most patients are treated and discharged in fewer than three hours – a 50 percent decrease resulting from the redesign
- Patients are admitted 30 percent faster than the national average
- Patients get to a bed after admission 56 percent faster than the national average
Melton’s Genesis Cup-winning redesign team included Maureen Leckie, R.N., MSN, the associate vice president of clinical operations at LRMC; April Novotny, R.N., MSN, the CEN director of emergency services; Pam Carter, R.N., BSN, the assistant director of emergency services; Joanne Fuell, R.N., BSN, the assistant director of emergency services. Because the E.D. relies on multiple hospital departments to deliver care, an E.D. redesign required changes outside of the E.D. as well. LRMC created a team with representatives from the E.D., radiology, lab, pharmacy, respiratory department, transportation and patient placement. The team met weekly to review data and ensure the E.D. was regularly maintaining or improving its patient flow.
Data analysis was another driving component of the redesign. The redesign team received daily and weekly summaries of detailed data from the hospital’s strategic analysis team. One unique tool Lakeland had in its redesign was a simulation model developed by an industrial engineer. The model uses existing data to predict outcomes, such as wait times, under various situations, including staffing levels and patient volumes.
EmCare designed The Genesis Cup program to recognize and celebrate the creativity and innovation of everyday physicians as part of the company’s never-ending pursuit to improve the delivery of patient care. In addition to recognizing the inventor/innovator, The Genesis Cup recognizes those involved in the initiative, including the emergency department, radiology department, hospitalist team, anesthesia team and the regional office in supporting such endeavors.
EmCare is a leading national provider of clinical department outsourcing services, including physician recruiting, credentialing, scheduling, leadership, training and education and billing, for hundreds of hospitals nationwide. Service lines include emergency medicine, hospital medicine, anesthesiology and
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radiology/teleradiology departments. EmCare clinicians participate in more than 15 million patient encounters annually. The company focuses on helping each client with efficiency, quality of care and creating outstanding patient experience. In short, EmCare is “Making Healthcare Work Better.”™ Learn more about EmCare at www.EmCare.com.