Topeka (WIBW) - It's an almost an accepted fact that if you go to the emergency room, you're going to wait awhile.
But as Stormont-Vail's expanded emergency department surpasses its one-year anniversary, they've reduced the hours to mere minutes.
Dr. Douglas Rose says the goal is to have patients in a room within five minutes of their arrival. He says to do that, the hospital had to change its focus to it was addressing what patients need.
For example, paperwork isn't priority one. Instead, the clinical process begins first and vital information name, such as name and insurance, is collected at the beside while the other assessments are taking place.
Dr. Rose admits Stormont also had an advantage in building and designing an entirely new emergency department, which opened in June of last year. It not only doubled the number of rooms and more than dubled staff, all the rooms have a universal design, capable of handling most types of situations. Instead of specialized tools being confined to specific rooms, Dr. Rose says tools and supplies are mobile so they can be taken to where they are needed.
Plus, Dr. Rose says they take full advantage of a new, system-wide electronic medical records system. Because of that, he says, staff doesn't have to wait for results. As soon as they're completed in the lab, radiology or other area, it can be seen by the ER staff.
The process continues on the back end, coordinating more quickly with other areas of the hospital to move people who must be admitted out of the ER and into a regular hospital bed, thereby freeing up the emergency room space for other emergency patients.
Dr. Rose says resources aren't unlimited, so there may be some times patients will have to wait, but they hope that's the exception rather than the rule.
Stormont-Vail's emergency department is on track to see 55,000 patients this year, making it one of the busiest ERs in the region.