Dec. 5, 2012 - Hallmark Health System’s Melrose-Wakefield Hospital recently made major improvements to its Emergency Department to enhance patient care, safety and patient and family satisfaction. The Emergency Department lobby has been redesigned with new lighting, flooring and furniture to provide a more contemporary and comfortable waiting area for patients and family members.


The Emergency Department also opened an area specifically designed to accommodate behavioral health patients and their families. The new treatment area includes private rooms and a lounge, which provides a more therapeutic environment for patients. Melrose-Wakefield Hospital is the only hospital in the region taking these cutting edge steps in behavioral health care.


This is just the latest in patient care enhancements to the emergency departments at both Melrose-Wakefield Hospital and Lawrence Memorial Hospital of Medford. Earlier this year, the hospitals implemented 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, enhances the patient experience with a focus on safety, quality and timeliness of transfer. The process involves a bedside report that includes 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.


To provide the highest quality of customer service, patients are seen and greeted immediately by staff as they enter the Emergency Department, even if the visit is in the middle of the night. The registration process and assessment begins soon after they enter the Emergency Department and there is greater use of Electronic Medical Records (EMR). Registrations are now performed at the bedside as the patient begins treatment.


Behind the scenes, steps have been taken to increase efficiency to reduce the time patients and staff must wait for lab and diagnostic test results. This step alone significantly reduced the time patients were in the Emergency Department. As a result, patients are experiencing reduced wait times and more efficient care. The emergency departments are also recording rising patient satisfaction scores from Press Ganey, an independent national firm that measures how patients feel about their hospital experience.


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Hallmark Health System is the premier, charitable provider of vital health services to Boston's northern communities. The system includes Lawrence Memorial Hospital of Medford; Melrose-Wakefield Hospital, Melrose; Hallmark Health Hematology and Oncology Center, Stoneham; The CHEM Center for MRI, Stoneham; Hallmark Health Medical Center, Reading; Hallmark Health VNA and Hospice; Lawrence Memorial/Regis College Nursing and Radiography Programs, Medford and Hallmark Health Medical Associates, Inc. Hallmark Health System is affiliated with Massachusetts General Hospital for cardiology and Tufts Medical Center for neonatology and the Joslin Diabetes Center for diabetes care.


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