Al Rahba Hospital announced that its “Door to Doc” or D2D program, an initiative aimed to improve the hospital’s patient flow, has drastically reduced emergency department (ED) wait times from three hours to less than one hour (peak times) in under five months of implementation.
During the same period, doctors in ED attended to up to 15% more patients daily. Over 90% of patients were seen within one hour of arrival to the ED and almost 75% of the patients were seen within 30 minutes in 2013.
Al Rahba Hospital also aims to decrease the one hour waiting time further within the next months, ensuring that all emergency patients are seen within 30-45 minutes.
Al Rahba Hospital is operated by SEHA and managed by Johns Hopkins Medicine International (JHMI).
The UAE’s first-of-its-kind D2D methodology was implemented as part of the hospital’s process change to enhance its patients’ overall hospital experience from the time of arrival, through admission to discharge.
Simply put, the door to doctor time is the time it takes for a patient to see a physician in the Emergency Department. Repeated transfers from one emergency department unit to another and recording information in multiple places such as registration and triage, before seeing a doctor can be time-consuming and unnecessary. It causes frustration and dissatisfaction among patients, physicians and staff. The D2D quality improvement approach focuses on streamlining processes with the goal of removing bottlenecks that do not add value for the patient. It also helps reduce costs and errors.
Timothy Dentry, Chief Executive Officer of Al Rahba Hospital, said, “Al Rahba Hospital is a forward-thinking hospital committed to setting new standards of excellence in patient care in Abu Dhabi. We recognize the importance of adopting innovative techniques to improve quality of care and services. Redesigning the patient flow process through the Door to Doc program is most definitely a step in that direction.”
Dr Xavier Anton, Chief of Service – Emergency Department at Al Rahba Hospital, said, “The success of the Door to Doc program is the result of a multi-disciplinary team approach. I appreciate the efforts of our senior management, IT department, hospital’s nurses, physicians, managers, admitting staff and allied health professionals. I would also like to extend my sincere thanks to the John Hopkins team that is continuously supporting this worthwhile project with on-site visits and bi-weekly phone conference updates.
“The D2D methodology has helped us address the challenge of a rapidly growing patient population as well as shortage of emergency beds and doctors in the Emirate,” explained Dr Anton.
To meet its patients’ demands for specialized pediatric care, the hospital has also recently created a designated pediatric emergency room, staffed by pediatricians. Pediatric emergency traffic in the hospital has doubled since opening of the room in October 2013.
“Within a short time span, we have achieved remarkable results. We haven’t only drastically reduced wait times but also the number of patients who leave before being treated or seen by a physician (LWBS) due to frustration with long waits to see a doctor. From nearly 7%, LWBS has decreased to less than 2%,” Dr Anton added.
A live tracking system developed in house, by Al Rahba’s IT department informs patients and doctors of potential waits from time of registration to seeing a physician. It is installed in the waiting area and other locations across the hospital.
“Soon, we plan to integrate it in into our website and publish our live emergency room wait times on the Web, helping patients and their families know what to expect before getting to the hospital,” added Dr Anton.
The data recorded on the system helps the hospital’s team to measure results and feed information back to staff to collectively plan for future improvements. “Our specially designed ED dashboard helps us benchmark our emergency services in Abu Dhabi,” Dr Anton said.
To improve interactions between hospital Associates and those they serve – patients, families and visitors – Al Rahba Hospital has deployed an evidence-based “AIDET” technique. AIDET stands for Acknowledgement, Introduce, Duration, Explanation and Thank You. “Deploying AIDET has improved our patient interaction and has resulted in better customer satisfaction scores,” concluded Dr Anton.
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Marketing & Communications
Al Rahba Hospital
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Asda’a Burson Marsteller
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