The emergency department of Huguley Memorial Medical Center has launched a program to decrease diagnostic laboratory testing turnaround times. By having laboratory equipment and certified lab technicians present in the emergency department during peak times, lab tests can be performed rapidly, decreasing patient wait times.
“We are mindful that time is valuable to our patients. Our emergency department ‘stat lab’ eliminates the back-and-forth between departments, which saves time for our patients and for the medical team. In some cases, treatment can be started sooner, enabling our patients to be discharged quicker,” says Mary Lewis, R.N., Huguley Emergency Department Manager.
The Huguley emergency department stat or “immediate” lab can run a variety of labs that are needed to diagnose the patients. The main laboratory in the hospital is available for those diagnostics that are not available in the stat lab.
The stat lab is another program in a series of initiatives to decrease waiting time and improve patient satisfaction in the Huguley emergency department. Another initiative is the collaborative effort between the Huguley emergency department and cardiac catheterization lab to reduce the time it takes for heart attack patients to receive life-saving interventions. Huguley now surpasses the national goal of opening blood vessel blockages within 90 minutes.
“Our goals include refining care to meet the needs of our community,” says Mrs. Lewis. “We want to explore inventive ways to provide timely, high-quality care to those we serve. One example was the addition of our ‘Flu Annex’ during the past flu season. Finding ways to improve is challenging but rewarding: we want to be ready, willing, and able to meet the needs of our neighbors.”