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Clara Maass Medical Center

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Clara Maass Medical Center

The emergency department (ED) at Clara Maass Medical Center in Belleville, N.J., experienced steady volume growth over the past few years.  With a 25% increase within the last 2 years, the challenge to manage the demand was very clear. Not only was there a need to expand capacity but also a need for changing operations to accommodate the growth without sacrificing quality and efficiency. 

With EMA leading the effort, the medical center created a Rapid Decision Unit (RDU) adjacent to the ED. This was used for evaluation and treatment of patients who required further testing to determine if they required admission to the hospital.  Operating the RDU allowed the ED to function more efficiently while simultaneously removing patients requiring further testing to a more comfortable and appropriate setting. In addition, quality of care was enhanced through better decision-making when admitting patients, and effectively reducing unnecessary admissions to the hospital.

Prior to the RDU, walkouts were nearly 6%, with a turnaround time of nearly 9 hours for admissions and almost 4.5 hours for discharged patients. One month after opening the RDU, the walkout rate was reduced by 50% as turnaround times began to decrease as well. In one year’s time, walkouts had been reduced to .8%, well below the national benchmark of 2%, while turnaround times for discharges and admissions decreased by 28% and 12%, respectively.  

The ED is on track to see more than 70,000 patients annually with no signs of slowed volume growth. Thanks to the RDU initiative and Emergency Medical Assocaties' resources, those patients will receive expeditious care of the highest quality.

 

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