By Laurie Kuralt, BSN, RN, CCRN

Many improvements have been made in the new BMH Emergency Department (ED) as of late. Not only do we have a new, modern facility, but we are working on making improvements about the process of how we care for patients from the time they enter the doors, until they leave. Many of these changes are geared toward improving the patient experience in the ED as well as quality care. We are striving for excellence. As with most change implementation, this takes time and continuously relooking at strategies to get the changes correct. Sustaining the change is the ultimate goal.

Some of the improvements we have made are as simple as placing the equipment in the room in a standardized fashion, so the clinicians know where to find what they need without having to ask. Having the equipment on the right side of the patient, where providers are trained to assess the patient from, which prevents reaching over the patient.

Laurie Kuralt, BSN, RN, CCRN
Laurie Kuralt, BSN, RN, CCRN

Other improvements have to do with the time it takes for the patient to be brought to the room from registration. Our goal is to get the patient to a room as soon as possible. In order for this to take place, it relies on many departments working together. Registration is now started at the front window, with just a few questions to get the patient into the system. The nurse then is alerted to bring the patient back to a room to be assessed. The registration staff comes back later to the patient’s room to complete the registration process. This allows the physician or associate provider to see the patient in the room sooner.

We have also increased the amount of hours that the associate providers are working with the physicians in the ED. An associate provider is either an Advanced Practice Nurse (nurse practitioner) or a Physician’s Assistant. These providers work collaboratively with the physicians and nurses to care for our patients with the compassion and respect. So if you are visiting the ED during our busiest times, you will have multiple people able to care for you and meet your needs.

We will soon be putting into place aftercare appointment scheduling in the Emergency Department. This means, if needed, we will make your follow-up appointment for you. You will know when your next doctor’s appointment will be before you leave the ED. If you do not have a primary care physician, we will connect you with the centralized scheduling office to assist you with finding an area provider that meets your needs.

If you are an Emergency Department patient in the near future, you may be randomly selected by a third party company to take part in our patient satisfaction survey. This questionnaire will address questions based on your experience in the ED, including things such as your treatment, your comfort, your discharge instructions, and your aftercare plan. Please take the time to complete this survey and send it back to the company with your honest review of your ED visit. This will help us to see if we are making improvements, and give us suggestions on what else we can do to improve.

So if you have the misfortune of needing emergency medical care, we at the BMH Emergency Department will treat you with kindness, dignity, and respect. We will help you with your entire stay here in the ED as well as help with the transition if you need to be admitted to the hospital, transferred to another facility, or need aftercare planning for home. We are here for you.

Laurie Kuralt, BSN, RN, CCRN is the Nurse Manager of the Special Care Unit and Respiratory Services at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital. She is also the Nursing Quality & Performance Liaison for the Emergency Department. She can be reached at 802-257-8394

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