June 11, 2012 – Hallmark Health System, which includes Lawrence Memorial Hospital of Medford and Melrose-Wakefield Hospital, is implementing a new patient-centered transfer process for patients admitted to the hospital through the Emergency Departments. The process, the first of its kind at any hospital north of Boston, will enhance the patient experience with a focus on safety, quality and timeliness of transfer.
Over the past year, a multi-disciplinary team has been working to enhance the efficiency and quality of emergency care, reduce wait times and increase patient and family satisfaction.
Beginning this month, inpatient nurses will go to the Emergency Department to receive reports on newly admitted patients. This transfer of care will take place at the patient’s bedside in the Emergency Department and will include the patient, family member, the Emergency Department care team, (which includes a physician or physician assistant as well as a nurse) and the inpatient nurse assigned to the patient. Once this transfer of care is completed, the inpatient nurse accompanies the patient to their room.
How will this benefit the patient? Bedside report allows the patient the opportunity to discuss the working diagnosis and initial treatment plan with the entire care team. It also allows the patient and family members to alert the care team of any additional medical or personal issues of importance.
Deb Cronin-Waelde, RN, MSN, ONC, system director of Emergency Services at Hallmark Health System, in concert with this team, has reviewed and studied the healthcare literature on patient safety and medical errors, especially data that points to the potential for increased errors at the time of a patient’s transfer of care from the Emergency Department to an inpatient unit.
“The passion for patient and family centered care embedded within the culture at Hallmark Health System drove the entire clinical team to look at each other’s work flow,” she explained. “In doing so, our teams of nurses and physicians determined that meeting at the patient’s bedside, face-to-face with the clinical care team, the patient and their loved-ones, would enhance the quality and safety of their care and overall experience with us.”
Cronin-Waelde went on to say, “We are all very proud of the hard work and collaboration that all of the staff at every level of Hallmark Health System has put forth to implement this very important step toward enhancing the patient care in our hospitals. We believe our patient transfer system will be a best practice model for hospitals throughout Massachusetts.”
Hallmark Health System is the premier, charitable provider of vital health services to