With a tough economic climate on one hand and a major increase in patient volume on the other, you might expect an emergency department to have a difficult time coping. But at McLaren Lapeer Region, just the opposite is happening.
McLaren Lapeer Region Emergency Department won two major national awards in the past year. The independent health care ratings company, HealthGrades, recognized McLaren Lapeer Region with the Emergency Medicine Excellence Award. McLaren Lapeer Region was among 200 out of 4,000 hospitals to be given that distinction. McLaren Lapeer Region also won a Press Ganey Top Improver Award for continuous improvement in emergency department patient satisfaction scores. This is a level of performance reached by only about 5 percent of hospitals nationwide.
“Our emergency department has done it all,” says Betsy Felton, R.N., ED nurse manager at McLaren Lapeer Region.
“Despite an increase in volume to 29,000 ED patients this year, we’ve stayed competitive with major hospitals for inpatient satisfaction and quality measures. We’ve remained committed to customer service, and our employee engagement scores are very high.”
Teamwork Does It
Brad Blaker, D.O., ED medical director says, “We have made significant changes to meet the needs of our patients.” The majority of admissions, including trauma patients, come through the ED. “We view the department as the front door to the community,” Dr. Blaker says. “It has taken a lot of collaboration and teamwork, focusing on a common goal of patient satisfaction and high-quality patient care.”
“On every level, from the nurses, ED techs, unit clerks, doctors to managers, we come together as a team,” says Felton. “We’ve implemented unit-to-unit meetings to encourage staff collaboration so that people are heard. We get great support from the administration to make needed changes. This is the core difference that allows us to be the top 5 percent in the nation for patient satisfaction.”
When the Patient Is Happy, the Staff Is Happy
“We give our staff the tools and empower them to make decisions. That results in the optimal patient experience. Our goal is to make the patient happy first. When you do that, the staff is happy, too,” says Felton.
ED patient feedback is tracked on a regular basis, so it’s clear when an employee has done his or her utmost to ensure a good patient experience.
“Our Star Program is frequently used to recognize staff members for exemplary work—for going above and beyond,” says Felton.