Verde Valley Medical Center’s Emergency Department reduces wait time

Verde Valley Medical Center’s emergency department has been making several changes to improve patient care. Earlier this year, it transitioned its emergency physicians from a staffing group to an employed provider group and named Dale Curtis, M.D., as medical director over the Cottonwood and Sedona emergency departments.

By employing its emergency physicians, VVMC is able to provide a higher level care by providing a solid, dedicated group of emergency providers, which ensures consistency and quality.

Another change is its patient registration process. Previously, the registrars were behind large bulletproof windows − a setting not conducive to personable interactions. Now, patients are greeted face-to-face by a nurse, tech or registrar when they enter, and can get help exiting their vehicles if needed. In addition, the registration form has been shortened in order to speed up the registration process.

Along with the changes to registration, a triage nurse is available 24 hours a day. For 14 hours a day, a nurse is stationed in the triage area to assess urgency and determine a treatment plan for each patient. If a room is available, triage is skipped and patients move directly into a room to be seen by a physician.

These changes have helped reduce the door-to-doc time, the number of minutes from a patient’s arrival to seeing a doctor, by 17 minutes at the Cottonwood campus and by 23 minutes at the Sedona Campus over the past year.