Published on March 01, 2017

Emergency Care In 30-Minutes or Less at Chestnut Hill Hospital

By Gerald Wydro, M.D., medical director, Chestnut Hill Hospital Emergency Department

Philadelphia, PA — When you’re experiencing a medical emergency, the last thing you want to do is wait. Emergency medicine requires the delivering of quality care under pressure with compassion, and excellent clinical skills. Chestnut Hill Hospital (CHH) knows the importance of prompt service – especially in the emergency department. That’s why we’ve launched a 30-Minute ER Service Pledge – to assure patients that we are dedicated not only to offering the best quality care, but also to providing that care as efficiently and quickly as possible.

The 30-Minute ER Service Pledge begins when a patient checks in with the receptionist. Our pledge is that a clinical professional will work diligently to initially see each patient within 30 minutes or less of their arrival to begin the evaluation and treatment. When the patient is seen by a clinical professional, the time is logged on the patient’s chart – so we can track our performance in keeping our pledge of low ER wait times.

To further demonstrate our commitment to the 30-minute pledge, the Hospital just added eight rooms to the new emergency department to better meet the needs of Fast Track patients. The recent flu epidemic resulted in a higher than expected number of patients seeking care in our emergency department. The additional beds will enable us to better meet the patient demand during peak times.

While the goal of Chestnut Hill Hospital’s ER pledge is to work diligently to initially see every patient within 30 minutes, the most critical health emergencies will always receive top priority.

Our strong affiliations with Penn Heart Rescue, which provides rapid transport to Penn Presbyterian for emergency cardiac care, and Jefferson Neuroscience Network for rapid evaluation and transfer of patients suffering from a stroke, help to ensure that the most urgent needs of our patients are met.

The hospital records and monitors many ER indicators as part of its ongoing quality improvement process. One of the items we track is patient wait times in the ER to determine how efficiently we triage patients and get them to a clinician for initial evaluation and treatment. The vast majority of patients in Chestnut Hill’s ER were already being seen within 30 minutes of their arrival time, but the pledge helps staff align processes to meet a common goal. I believe the pledge underlines our commitment to the people who live and work in our community.

While we are committed to prompt and appropriate care for our emergency department patients, the 30-Minute ER pledge is not an effort to rush patients though the ED. Our process improvements focus on getting patients into a treatment room as quickly as possible, enabling our clinicians to see a patient and begin an assessment and treatment plan in a timely manner.

The community can view Chestnut Hill Hospital’s average ER wait time -- based on a two-hour rolling average, updated every 15 minutes – on the internet at