Aventura Hospital’s Emergency Department Earns National Recognition for Service Excellence
August 20, 2010, Aventura, FL – Three years ago, patients waited more than two hours to see a physician after arriving at the emergency room at the Aventura Hospital and Medical Center (AHMC) in Aventura, Florida. Today, the average wait time to see an ER doctor is consistently less than 10 minutes. This change exemplifies the remarkable story of a cultural transformation within AHMC’s Emergency Department and one that is now garnering national recognition for the hospital.
AHMC’s Emergency Department received accolades recently for its extraordinary and consistent efforts toward service excellence when it was named the recipient of Emcare’s prestigious Genesis Cup. This award recognizes and celebrates the creativity and innovation of physicians and hospitals that implement processes or programs designed to improve patient care in emergency departments.
“Congratulations to all of the great presentations for this year's Genesis Cup, most especially to the winner, Aventura Hospital and Medical Center," said Dr. Dighton Packard, EmCare’s Chief Medical Officer, when he announced the 2010 Genesis Cup award winner. "Each program would be a great addition to hospital best practices and deserve recognition in their own right. Thank you to everyone who participated and who continues to push themselves, their colleagues and their facilities to be the innovators that drive our industry forward.”
To achieve service improvements the AHMC’s ED team developed and implemented a program that dramatically improved customer service and patient care. As a result of this program, reduced wait times and increased efficiency enabled the Aventura ED to see substantially more patients – increasing volume from an average of 3,000 patients per month in 2007 to more than 4,500 patients per month today.
To change the culture within the ED, the team identified four key areas on which to focus its efforts:
Patients first - The team implemented a series of changes, including physician scheduling and physician engagement. This has improved the patient’s experience from the moment they arrive at the ED.
The Lean process - The EmCare Lean process was adopted by the ED team, requiring a medic be stationed at the ambulance bay to meet the patients as they arrive. This facilitates the admittance process and streamlines a patient’s assessment and subsequent treatment.
No one waits - Patients are immediately taken to any open bed upon arrival.
Respect - By incorporating an innovative service excellence model, the ED team has improved customer satisfaction.
ED staff has also taken a number of steps to build stronger relationships with Emergency Medical Services (EMS) providers and the community by engaging in procedures and activities that have yielded a sense of partnership and caring.
The Genesis Cup is the most recent accomplishment yielded by the extraordinary transformation AMHC has undergone. AHMC is now a certified Chest Pain Center and installed a state-of-the-art CT scanner in the Emergency Department. AHMC was the first Primary Stroke Program in South Florida to earn the American Stroke Association/American Heart Association Get with the Guidelines - Stroke (GWTG – Stroke) Gold Plus Performance Achievement Award. In conjunction with the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Department, AHMC also implemented new emergency medical response measures, providing STENT intervention to heart attack patients within 60 minutes or less. As of August 2010, the average STEMI time for AHMC patients is 46 minutes, a time that is well below the national benchmark of 90 minutes. The ED medical staff introduced a new induced hypothermia program, which is used to rapidly cool the body temperatures for patients suffering from cardiac arrest in order to save brain function.
What is most impressive about the innovative improvements that AHMC’s ED has undergone is the fact they were accomplished during the emergency room’s busiest season to date. This year, Aventura Hospital’s Emergency Department has shown an increase in volume of 25 percent over 2008. The ED’s overall patient satisfaction score has risen to the top 25th percentile of the entire HCA hospital chain, which consists of 161 hospitals nationwide and abroad.