If you go to the emergency room at Dominican Hospital, how long will it take before you are evaluated?
The federal government says 10 minutes on average.
That’s better than the wait of 15 minutes at Watsonville Community Hospital, according to a new database causing some hospital officials nationwide to cringe. It takes the ERs of Watsonville Community and Dominican an average of 142 and 153 minutes, respectively, from the time that a patient arrives in the ER to the time they are sent home. In that category, both local hospitals bested the average across California (173 minutes) and across the United States (140 minutes).
Key measures of ER efficiency have been posted from hospitals taking part across the country, according to a report by former San Diego Union-Tribune writer Cheryl Clark, now senior quality editor for HealthLeaders Media.
“With precious little fanfare, Uncle Sam last month rolled out a big, fat database with seven measures comparing a service that many people—healthcare providers and patients alike—consider the most critical any hospital can provide,” Clark wrote last week.
Data collected in 2011 and early 2012 also tracked how long it took for an ER patient to be seen by a healthcare professional and how long the wait was to get a bed if they needed admission. Other data showed how long patients spent in the ER before being sent home and whether they received a brain scan if they might have suffered a stroke.
Clark interviewed Dr. Jesse Pines, an emergency room doctor and researcher who directs the center for healthcare quality at George Washington University.
“The theory is that when hospitals report this information, it makes them focus on it, and improve throughout their [Emergency Department],” Pines was quoted as saying.
“But it’s very hard to do. Certain performance measures are easier to fix—simple process measures like giving patients an aspirin—than improving ED throughput, which involves development of interdisciplinary teams.”
Pines told Clark the public attention pushes hospital administrators to focus on the emergency rooms as well as other metrics.
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This story was taken form www.watsonville.patch.com and was written by Jennifer Squires. Scurich Insurance did not create this content–we just wanted to share it with you!