Patients who come to the Emergency Department want to be seen immediately—and often for good reason. Unfortunately, this is not always possible. However, at Florida Hospital East Orlando, we are strive to see every patient in 60 minutes or less. Below are the answers to some common questions about that goal.
What exactly is the 60-minute goal?
Our patients are greeted upon entering our Emergency Department, and their arrival time will be noted. A triage nurse will assess the patient’s condition within a few minutes. Our goal is to have a physician see each patient within 60 minutes. The wait times are documented by our ER staff members.
Is a 60-minute goal necessary?
In many emergency rooms across the country, ER wait times have been increasing. The average wait time to see a doctor in the state of Florida is 222 minutes (3 hours, 42 minutes). We want to assure our patients that we are dedicated to not only offering the best quality care, but also providing that care as quickly as possible.
What changes have been made to make the 60-minute goal possible?
The opening of our new patient tower expanded our facility to 225 beds, allowing us to expedite admission through the Emergency Department. Also, our new Emergency Medicine Residency Program has added six physicians to the emergency room, which, in addition to streamlined processes and stronger collaboration among all hospital departments, has decreased our wait times.
How can patients maintain the highest quality of care if speed is the priority?
It is not our objective now, nor will it ever be, to rush patients through the Emergency Department. Our process improvements have been focused on enabling our physicians to see patients and begin their diagnosis and treatment in a timelier manner.
Does the 60-minute goal affect how patients are prioritized?
While the goal is to see every patient within 60 minutes, patients will continue to be seen in order of medical necessity. Upon arrival, an expert triage nurse will evaluate each patient’s condition. The more severe cases will be seen first.
Which hospitals offer the 60-minute goal?
The 60-Minute Goal is offered at all seven Florida Hospital locations in Central Florida. We are the only Central Florida hospitals offering the 60-Minute Goal.
Does this mean I’ll be on my way home in 60-minutes or less?
No. We work to enable our doctors to see you and begin your evaluation and treatment within 60 minutes. Depending on the nature of your illness or injury, the duration of your visit will vary.
Is the 60-minute goal a guarantee?
Unfortunately, it is not. While we make every effort to meet the 60-Minute Goal and expedite your care and comfort, sometimes there are extenuating circumstances outside of our control. Thank you for working with us and understanding if the Emergency Department is managing a high volume of patients or mass-casualty incidents.
In what order are patients seen?
The order in which patients are seen in the Emergency Department is based on the seriousness of their condition, injury or illness. A person's condition is classified as either: emergent, urgent or non-urgent. This also refers to children, who are prioritized by illness or injury as well.
- Emergent patients include those who have life-threatening conditions or require immediate medical attention. For these patients, a time delay could be life threatening. Emergent patients are taken immediately to the treatment area and often arrive through the ambulance entrance. For these cases, time is of the essence.
- Urgent patients require medical attention within a period of a few hours before they face further injury or infection if they are not treated. These patients are brought to the treatment area in the order of their arrival, after the resuscitative/emergent patients.
- Non-urgent patients have relatively mild conditions, or may not require immediate attention. These conditions can include the flu, sore throat, fever and other non-urgent conditions. Many times, these patients visit the Emergency Department in the evenings or weekends when physicians’ offices are closed. These patients are seen in the order of their arrival after the more emergent and urgent patients, and they may encounter longer wait times.
- Care choices are conditions that are clearly not emergencies and can be seen and treated by your primary care physician or at an urgent care center. If this is the case, contact your primary care physician; he or she will set up an appointment, refer you to an urgent care clinic or advise you to visit the Emergency Department.