Catawba Valley Medical Center has announced the opening of the Fast Track
care option in its Emergency Department, an effort to reduce wait times.
This move aims to lighten the patient load in the triage area, while allowing
emphasis to be placed on more urgent patient care needs.
“We saw an opportunity to improve efficiency inside the Emergency
Department,” said Chuck Scronce, administrator, Emergency Services.
“My hope is for the patients who enter the department with a less
urgent emergency to begin self-selecting the Fast Track option. This will
not only speed up the time it takes for them to be treated, but also improve
care times for our more critical patients.”
Patients with minor emergencies, such as small burns and lacerations, ear
infections, cold and flu symptoms, sore throats, toothaches and sprains,
will now be treated in the Fast Track area located inside the Emergency
Department. Fast Track is staffed with a dedicated team led by a physician
assistant, and patients are encouraged to gain access to the facility
through the Emergency Department entrance located on 11th Avenue Drive SE.
With more than 50,000 patients treated last year, Scronce identified 38
percent of the population that would have qualified for the Fast Track
option. Within the first two weeks of the Fast Track implementation, 60
percent of patients were treated and released within 90 minutes, up from
40 percent during the same time frame in 2012. The average length of stay
also improved to 94 minutes from 114 minutes last year. In addition, the
time from the moment a patient enters the emergency department until seeing
a doctor decreased by an average of 10 minutes.