“You could be my mother.”
“You could be my grandfather.”
“You could be my child.”
These are some of the signs posted above patient room doors inside TMC’s Emergency Department. They’re subtle reminders that at TMC, we treat all patients like family.
TMC’s Emergency Department has worked to streamline quite a bit over the past year. Using a “lean” philosophy to improve processes, a group of specially trained employees work with staff to identify ways to do things better. The goal is to remove any waste and add value to what patients experience day-to-day. Members of TMC’s Lean Team ask patients – what is valuable to you? They also ask front-line staff about issues that can be improved.
The Emergency Department was one of the first assignments.
One of the most noticeable improvements patients see: Gone is the glass window at check-in. A registered nurse welcomes all patients and triages them to the appropriate area. As part of TMC’s improved medical screening exam process, having a health care provider in triage allows for a quick connection with the patient directly. They’re able to order the appropriate diagnostic tests to help cut down on the total amount of time the patient has to stay in the department. Additionally, there is a dedicated provider in each pod who collaborates closely with the nurse to create an individualized plan of care for each patient.
“We know that after you’ve been treated in the Emergency Department, the last thing you want to do is have to wait to go home,” said Melissa Ritchey, department director. “TMC’s Emergency Department has dedicated nurses who focus on discharging patients in a timely manner.”
TMC also has a dedicated pediatric emergency department that is in a separate location away from the adult emergency department, which children may find scary and intimidating. TMC is considered an advanced center for pediatric emergency medicine. Specialized staff and providers care for pint-sized patients.
TMC’s highly skilled Emergency Department staff strive to make every patient’s experience a pleasant and efficient one. Did you know that TMC is considered a Center of Excellence for stroke? Additionally, TMC received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award and the Target: Stroke Elite Honor Roll. These designations recognize commitment and success in implementing stroke care that meets strict criteria.We earned these distinctions following an extensive and objective review of our programs. TMC is also a base hospital for rural emergency medical service agencies, which receive annual training and support from TMC Emergency Department staff.
“In our Emergency Department, we are constantly trying to improve how we do things,” said Ritchey. “We listen to feedback and make appropriate changes. This Readers’ Choice award is an indication that Southern Arizona residents have noticed. We appreciate being the hospital you turn to during a health crisis, no matter how big or small. We are mindful that coming to the Emergency Department can be frightening for some patients. We strive for compassionate, efficient care with every single patient. We are Tucson. And we are there for you in an emergency.”