ROME, GA – The Partnership for Health and Accountability (PHA) presented its prestigious Quality and Patient Safety Award to Redmond Regional Medical Center in Rome for its project that improved patient care in the emergency department (ED). The project, titled “Improving Patient Flow in the Emergency Department: A Hospital-Wide Initiative,” won second place in the Hospitals with 100 to 299 Beds category.

Redmond was also presented with a Circle of Excellence Award, an honor given to hospitals and health systems that have demonstrated a sustained commitment to quality and patient safety as evidenced by not only winning a patient safety award in 2014, but by earning three or more PHA Patient Safety Awards within the previous five years. These annual awards recognize Georgia health care organizations for achievement in reducing the risk of medical errors and improving patient safety and medical outcomes. This is the ninth year in a row that Redmond has been awarded a Circle of Excellence Award.

Good patient flow in the ED is essential to ensuring patients are seen in a timely manner and receive proper care. Redmond noticed that an increase in patient volume in the ED was contributing to longer wait times and impeding patient flow. To address the issue, daily reports were submitted to leadership. The reports included numbers of patients seen in the ED, how long they waited, and the reasons for delay, such as rooms not being ready for patients and shift changes. The report was reviewed each day by ED nurses to see what changes needed to be implemented. Changes included the use of a self-registration kiosk, having environmental services ensuring rooms are prepared, and having inpatient units readily available to accept admitted patients.

Results showed average wait times for being greeted by a health care provider after arrival decreased by a third. The percentages of patients leaving prior to being screened or receiving treatment was cut in half.

“Long wait times in the emergency department contribute to a lack of access to care and can affect quality of care,” said Georgia Hospital Association Chief Medical Officer Doug Patten, M.D. “We applaud Redmond Regional for its work in reducing ED wait times and for its efforts in providing the best and safest care possible to its patients.”

“We continually work to improve quality, service and patient safety,” said John Quinlivan, Redmond Chief Executive Officer. “I’m so proud of our staff members who not only took the initiative to identify an opportunity to improve patient care, but also followed through to find the solution and make it happen.”