Friday, October 28, 2005

Emergency room guarantees fast service


BRISTOL, Tenn. – Twenty-six minutes of your time could be worth $25.

Bristol Regional Medical Center now promises patients they will begin to receive treatment within 25 minutes or receive a $25 gift card to a local store or vendor.

The whole visit should last no more than 70 minutes, hospital officials promise.

Having to wait stands as the No. 1 complaint among patients visiting the emergency room at Bristol Regional, said Bart Hove, the hospital’s administrator.

"As the ER volume has grown over the years and we continue to survey our patients, one of the biggest dissatisfiers is the length of time it took to get the patients through the process because of the trauma center out here," he said.

"Mixing (minor problems) with the auto accidents and heart attacks, they always got put to the end of the line as we took care of our emergent need."

By dividing the emergency room into two sections – patients requiring immediate care and those requiring care for minor ailments and illnesses – both groups can receive treatment more quickly and efficiently, Hove said.

Patients with minor injuries or illnesses go to the "quick care" section of the ER.


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