Emergency Department Supertrack: New model reduces wait times

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When Vivian Holmberg’s 15 year old son tripped and fell during a basketball game and it looked like he had seriously hurt his ankle, she brought him in to St. Joseph’s Health Centre’s Emergency Department right away. Unsure if he had any broken or cracked bones, Vivian knew they were probably facing a long wait until they would see a doctor and find out if her son would be back out playing on the court anytime soon.

A family with three growing kids, the Holmbergs are no stranger to the range of services St. Joe’s has available right in their neighbourhood. This time, thanks to our Emergency Department’s Supertrack, in less than two hours Vivian had confirmation that her son’s ankle wasn’t broken and was able to take him home.

“We’ve been through St. Joe’s a million times,” she says. “Waiting in the Emergency Department can be very stressful, even for minor health problems. This time, we had the x-ray and got the results really quickly. The doctor was amazing – it was great.”

A year after launching, this innovative model is reducing the amount of time patients are spending in the Emergency Department. Every day, 53 per cent of our patients are sent through Supertrack after being screened by our triage nurse. They move into a designated area where they are assessed by a physician within 30 minutes, and then directed to the most appropriate area for continued care. In Vivian’s case, her son was connected with Diagnostic Imaging for x-rays.

Most patients with minor injuries who go through Supertrack are discharged within two hours.

Patient Care Manager Donna Didimos says Vivian’s story is one of many positive patient experiences she’s heard about over the past year.

“The idea of Supertrack is to ensure patients are seen quickly so that treatment can start and be completed right away,” she says. “The staff in our ED have worked hard to create and implement a process that provides our patients with the right care, at the right time, in the right area,” says Donna.

The new model is also having a positive impact on how our patients feel about their experience in the Emergency Department with 85 per cent saying they appreciated the quality of care they received.

“Supertrack is about providing quality care in a timely manner,” said Dr. Agostino Bellissimo, Chief of Emergency Medicine and Chef Medical Informatics Officer. “It puts the patient experience at the centre of our work.”

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