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Texas Health Plano Launches Emergency Room '30-Minute Promise'
10/06/2009

PLANO, Texas — Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Plano is committed to making your emergency, our emergency.

That’s why starting today, Texas Health Plano is launching the 30-Minute Promise, a commitment to patients in our emergency room — no matter how minor the complaint — to be seen by a physician within 30 minutes of check-in.

30-Minute Promise

“We realize this is a big promise to make, and we are prepared to stand behind it,” said Jeffrey Canose, M.D., president of Texas Health Plano. “Our goal is to redefine emergency care in North Texas.”

Texas Health Plano, a 368-bed, acute care hospital, has been laying the groundwork for the 30-Minute Promise for nearly a year, working to make every aspect of emergency department operations more efficient, said Lawrence Hum, M.D., medical director of the emergency department at Texas Health Plano.

“Invariably, what slows down ER wait times is congestion in the beds while we are admitting patients or getting tests done for the lab or radiology,” Hum said. “With our processes, we are getting patients admitted faster, freeing up room to allow us to see new patients in a shorter timeframe.”

Texas Health Plano is the only hospital of its size in North Texas that is offering a 30-Minute Promise in the emergency department. The 30-Minute Promise will not apply during a natural disaster or community health disaster. Some fast-track patients with lower acuity complaints may be seen by a physician assistant.

Emergency room wait times and “throughput” times — the amount of time it takes from check-in until discharge from the ER — are recorded and examined on a daily basis, said Linda Van Pelt, nursing director of emergency services and intensive care at Texas Health Plano.

“We have tested and refined our processes, and more often than not, we are already meeting or beating the 30-minute wait time,” Van Pelt said.

“We know we won’t be perfect every single day,” Hum said. “But we have worked hard to get to the point where we can make this promise, and we are going to do everything we can to follow through on it.”

Hum noted that, although patients will be seen by a physician within 30 minutes of check-in, actual time spent in the emergency room will vary depending on each patient’s illness.

“I can’t promise that patients will be out of the hospital in 30 minutes, but our goal will be to ensure that they are seen by a physician within that timeframe,” Hum said. “As an ER, and as a hospital, we value our patients’ time. Medical emergencies are difficult enough without having to languish for hours on end, waiting to be seen.”

About Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Plano
Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Plano is 368-bed acute care hospital and recognized clinical program leader, providing technologically advanced care to Plano and surrounding areas since 1991. The hospital’s services include orthopedics, cardiovascular services, oncology, pediatrics and women’s services. An affiliate of the faith-based, nonprofit Texas Health Resources system, Texas Health Plano has more than 1,600 employees and 1,200 physicians on the medical staff. For more information, call 1-877-THR-WELL or visit TexasHealth.org/Plano.

About Texas Health Resources
Texas Health Resources is one of the largest faith-based, nonprofit health care delivery systems in the United States and the largest in North Texas in terms of patients served. The system of 13 hospitals includes Texas Health Arlington Memorial Hospital, Texas Health Harris Methodist hospitals, Texas Health Presbyterian hospitals, and a medical research organization. Texas Health is a corporate member or partner in six additional hospitals and surgery centers. For more information, call 1-877-THR-WELL, or visit TexasHealth.org.

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