Winchester Hospital ED Receives Top Scores for Patient Satisfaction
Mark Barons never needed to go to the hospital before. But then one day this past fall, the Lexington resident injured his foot, leading to an infection.
Barons and his wife got in their car and drove to the Winchester Hospital emergency room.
“Once I got there I wasn’t really nervous,” Barons said. “The nurses and physicians really put me at ease. The ER staff made me, and more importantly, my wife, feel great.”
Barons’ story isn’t unusual. Winchester Hospital’s Emergency Department is considered one of the best in the country when it comes to the patient experience. The department ranked in the 97th percentile in overall patient satisfaction for 2012 according to Press Ganey, an industry expert in health care performance improvement.
The hospital’s emergency department became a leader in patient satisfaction over time by committing to performance improvement initiatives. In 2010, the hospital began educating staff on Lean and Six Sigma methodologies. Both Lean and Six Sigma processes have transformed various industries and some health care organizations have begun implementing these tools to achieve efficient and balanced work flow while providing high-quality care.
As a result of the initiative, the hospital developed specially-trained staff who analyze and solve problems using Lean and Six Sigma tools and processes. The goal is to optimize processes, reduce waste and minimize variability in work flow. To patients in the emergency department the adoption of these processes means their wait times have been reduced and their pain is being controlled more quickly. The new protocols also ensure patients are informed of delays and other variables that may affect their care.
“Lean Six Sigma has given us an opportunity to address complex issues, like improving wait times, and enhance our overall process,” said emergency department physician, Marisa Kearney, MD and leader of ED patient satisfaction. “Every member of our staff participated in designing more efficient and better ways to provide care.”
“The people who come in to see us are our neighbors,” she continued. “And I know they’re going through the same issues and challenges my family is going through. I try to imagine each patient in our emergency room is a family member or neighbor, and we take great care to get them in to see a healthcare professional as soon as possible. We also work hard to keep our patients informed on who is seeing them, the results we’re finding and how long they can expect to wait for their results.”
The process improvements are one of the reasons Winchester Hospital’s Emergency Department is considered one of the best in the country for patient satisfaction.
“They handled my case extremely well,” Barons said. “They made a quick diagnosis, and I was responded to as soon as I walked in. Everything was done quickly and efficiently. I was never left unattended. The ER was really amazing.”
Caring for more than 50,000 area residents each year, Winchester Hospital’s team of emergency medicine clinicians provides advanced care 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
About Winchester Hospital
Winchester Hospital is the first hospital in Massachusetts to earn Magnet recognition, the American Nurses Association’s highest honor for nursing excellence, three times. As the northwest suburban Boston area’s leading provider of comprehensive health care services, the 229-bed facility provides care in general, bariatric and vascular surgery, orthopedics, pediatrics, cardiology, pulmonary medicine, oncology, gastroenterology, rehabilitation, radiation oncology, pain management, obstetrics/gynecology and a Level IIB Special Care Nursery. Winchester Hospital has clinical affiliations with several nationally recognized hospitals in the region, including Boston Children’s Hospital, Tufts Medical Center and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. To learn more, visit www.winchesterhospital.org.