St. Marys Site Emergency Department Introduces Rapid Assessment Zone – The go-live date for the RAZ has been set for May 26

The Emergency Department at the Huron Perth Healthcare Alliance (HPHA) – St. Marys Memorial Hospital Site is a busy place, seeing over 9,500 patients last year alone. While the department scores high in patient satisfaction scores – in the 90th percentile for likelihood to recommend according to National Research Corporation Canada’s 2013/14 Report – the spirit of continuous improvement is evident in the implementation of a Rapid Assessment Zone (RAZ). “A Rapid Assessment Zone is a ‘see and treat’ model that increases patient flow and has been shown to improve patient experience,” says Shirley Veenendaal HPHA Program Director for ER, CCU & Specialty Services. “A number of patients we see on a daily basis are considered ‘minor’. That means that they may need tests or medication but are still reasonably comfortable sitting up and walking around. The RAZ will provide an area for the ED Physician to assess these patients who do not require the use of a stretcher to be assessed, treated and discharged in a more timely fashion.” Following the Communication Station Refresh in the ED, which was completed in July 2014, a designated space was identified that could house the RAZ. Over the last several months the ED staff has met with a number of stakeholders across the Alliance along with community members to work through a project plan to evaluate current state, identify wasted time, effort and resources and address suggested improvements. The go-live date for the RAZ has been set for May 26, 2015. “Our goal with the RAZ is to ease back-ups during busy times when all our stretchers are in use,” says Janet Vankoot, RN and Team Lead. “Data from the past two years has shown that some patients have left the hospital without being seen due to longer wait times when this back-up occurs. The identified challenges of increased wait times for less urgent patients and the fact that patients are leaving without being seen were the two main drivers for developing the RAZ.”