Turning the Tide on a Poorly Performing Emergency Department
Comanche County Memorial Hospital | Lawton, OK
COMANCHE COUNTY MEMORIAL HOSPITAL (LAWTON, OK), a facility with a 36-bed ED, found itself facing numerous issues which hindered its reputation both internally and within the community. The ED lacked strong leadership and was staffed with 50% locum tenens providers, while the 7% LWBS rate was among the worst in the region, and the admission rate was too low for the hospital’s acuity. Seeking to improve both patient outcomes as well as staff morale, the facility turned to TruePartners, a division of American Physician Partners, to help turn its ED around.
During the first three months of the partnership, APP trained and codeveloped the newly selected Medical Director, formerly the Chief Resident, who was skilled at building strong relationships between the ED and administration. The ED leadership then worked on enhancing nursing protocols, including optimizing the triage process and implementing a ‘pull-until-full’ model to move patients from the waiting room faster. Perhaps the most critical step was APP’s ability to recruit a team of local, full-time providers who were passionate about excellence in patient care. The ED now boasts a 100% retention rate among physicians.
Within a month of the partnership, progress was visibly evident, not only in patient care metrics, but in the culture as well. The staff was more engaged, with physicians actively serving on medical staff committees. The relationship between the physicians and nursing strengthened as well, with both teams demonstrating a unified front in delivering quality patient care. With a full-time team in place and support from administration, the medical staff, and the nursing staff, the ED was able to realize significant and lasting improvements.
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“The APP model has had a tremendous impact on the daily delivery of healthcare to the patients of our community. The physicians are incentivized to deliver quality patient care and feel like true members of the group, which has had the biggest impact.”
Chief Executive Officer