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St. Bernardine Medical Center And Community Hospital Of San Bernardino Among Shortest Emergency Dept. Wait Times

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif., March 25, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In a report released by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), data for St. Bernardine Medical Center and Community Hospital of San Bernardino states impressive short wait times for service in their Emergency Departments (ED).  The two Dignity Health hospitals are among over 4,000 nationwide that voluntarily provided wait time data to the CMS for quality measures of ED care from January 1-March 31, 2012.

Information posted on CMS's Hospital Compare indicates the average time patients spent in the ED before they were seen by a health care professional.  At St. Bernardine, the average wait time is six minutes, at Community Hospital, 13 minutes.  "We're extremely successful in our door-to-doc time," said Brian Bearie, MD, Medical Director for the hospitals' Emergency Departments and on staff with CEP America.  "We're among the largest ED's in our Inland Empire peer group and we do it better than most."

St. Bernardine is on the CMS list of 49 hospitals in the U.S. with the shortest ED wait times.  "We are among the largest volume ED's with one of the shortest wait times and this is a nationwide comparison," said Dr. Bearie.  "This year alone, St. Bernardine's ED will see 80,000 patients and Community Hospital, 50,000."

Significantly short wait times haven't always been the norm.  Nearly five years ago, the average wait time before a patient would be seen by a provider at St. Bernardine's ED was 120 minutes.  "We looked at the data and said 'we can do better,'" said Dr. Bearie.  The hospital began an innovative course of action to develop and implement a streamlined process.

"Traditionally, you show up in the ED, wait for a nurse to see you, get your information, then wait for a physician," Dr. Bearie explained.  With the addition of ED Fast Track, approximately 80 percent of ED patients have immediate access to a provider at one of five triage stations, virtually eliminating the time a patient waits to be seen and assessed.

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