Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Walterboro, S.C./ March 5, 2013 – Colleton Medical Center (CMC) announced it will begin posting its average Emergency Department wait times on a digital billboard in Walterboro. The screen will feature a digital clock which will display the average ER wait time at CMC. The wait time is defined as the time a patient comes in the door at the emergency department until they see a qualified medical professional. In an emergency, every second matters. CMC understands the sooner a patient is seen by a medical provider, the faster appropriate treatment can begin—leading to better clinical outcomes and better service for patients. "We already provide wait times on our hospital's website and on monitors in the ER waiting room," said Interim CEO Terence van Arkel, "but this is an added tool to display Colleton's focus on efficiency to the public." The digital billboard, located at Highway 15 and Robertson Blvd., will update every 30 minutes and represents a rolling four hour average of the time a patient spends waiting before seeing a qualified medical professional. "When a patient arrives at CMC's Emergency Department, they are immediately triaged (checked in and assessed) by a nurse to determine their status," said Ann Jonason, Chief Nursing Officer. "Of course, the most critical patients are seen first." A key component of this new efficiency initiative at CMC was an evaluation of peak times for patient volume and adjusting staffing and support to ensure that CMC has the right staffing at the right times. CMC has been recognized for two years in a row, as a Top Performer on Key Quality Measures by the Joint Commission. Only 18% of hospitals in the nation achieved this status and of those, only 39% were recognized for two consecutive years. CMC is one of only 14 hospitals in South Carolina to make this prestigious list.