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Strengthening relationships with Emergency Rooms

09/19/18 06:14:pm

Rogers is taking steps to ensure emergency room patients and staff have the best possible experience when transferring to one of our inpatient programs. 

“When people are at an emergency room and get accepted to Rogers, they want to get admitted here as quickly as they can,” says Dr. Jerry Halverson, chief medical officer for Rogers. “Our goal has been making that transition smoother.”

To accomplish this, Rogers has put together a team comprised of people from multiple departments, including Marketing, Outreach, Admissions, Nursing, and Administration. They’re building on the success of a Rogers Improvement System RIE that changed processes to reduce transfer times significantly.

“Previously the transfer time could be up to three or four hours, unfortunately,” Dr. Halverson says. “Our new goal is no more than an hour and we’re getting pretty close to that.”

Rogers has taken a number of steps to improve the transfer process for both patients and the emergency room staff. For instance, Rogers has created a hotline specifically for ER transfers to our inpatient units, avoiding confusion over the right number to call. Additionally, the former transfer process required patients to go through a lengthy phone interview with our admissions team, which Dr. Halverson says has been decreased from an hour to 15 minutes or less.

“We've made some significant changes on our side, both on the medical staff side and the admission side, to make sure that we're able to get appropriate patients here quickly,” Dr. Halverson says.

One of our goals, it's not only to make sure that the patient has a good experience, we want to partner with the emergency rooms. So when they have an appropriate patient, we are the first place they think of. We want to make the process easy for them.

Our ER partners are noticing the improvement. Janet Gatlin, Wisconsin outreach lead, shares, “While there’s still room for improvement, our contacts definitely notice the smoother process and increased communication. They’re pleased that patients are able to access psychiatric care in a much more timely manner.”

“Emergency rooms are our number-one referents to inpatient units,” Dr. Halverson says. “The care that we give here is the best care, and if we don’t make it easier, they’ll refer somewhere else and I know they won’t get the great care that they would here.”

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