With a daily average of some 170 patients coming through the doors of the Emergency Department (ED) at Overlook Medical Center in Summit, one group of patients has experienced the brunt of longer wait times. They are the ambulatory patients whose symptoms do not allow for fast-tracking, nor do they require critical medical attention. Accounting for about 30 percent of Overlook’s ED patients, they have traditionally competed for ED beds with very sick patients who most likely will be admitted to the hospital.
Now, however, those patients can flow through the ED with greater ease thanks to a newly opened Expedited Care Unit that features 16 fully equipped “pods” that allow for comfort and privacy while waiting for test results, receiving IV fluids, or heading for minor procedures like splinting and suturing. Greater access to care providers will include staff dedicated to expediting testing and/or treatment, thereby decreasing wait times and improving patient satisfaction overall.
Attending a May 31 ribbon-cutting were many of those involved in the planning and design of the new space, as well as donors to the Overlook Foundation’s $3 million Campaign for Emergency Services at Overlook. The Expedited Care Unit is just Phase One of the renovation and reconfiguration of the hospital’s existing ED space, with additional modifications planned to optimize patient flow, increase communication, and care for patients more efficiently and effectively.
Pictures from the event are available here.