LA PORTE – After more than a year of sustaining emergency room wait times of 30 minutes or less, La Porte Hospital is now launching the 30-minute ER Service Pledge to the community. This means the hospital will continue to work diligently to ensure the overall average wait time to be seen by a physician, physician assistant, or nurse practitioner at La Porte Hospital will be 30 minutes or less from the time of check-in at the ER.
“We want to share this pledge with the community because we have worked very hard to create a process in the emergency department that serves our patients with timely, professional, and compassionate care,” said James Leonard, DO, FACEP, executive medical director of emergency services at La Porte Hospital. “Of course, we will sometimes have very busy times in the emergency department that may cause some wait times to be longer than others, and we will always see the most critically ill patients first, but the pledge serves as a reminder to our staff and the patients we serve that we respect your time and want to provide the most efficient care possible,” he said.
The community can view La Porte Hospital’s average ER wait time – based on a two-hour rolling average, updated every 15 minutes – on the hospital’s website at laportehealth.com.
Leonard said the changes and improvements made in the delivery of care in the La Porte Hospital ER have contributed to the department’s ability to issue the pledge publicly.
“Over the last year, we have put new processes in place and tested these processes to ensure our patients are receiving timely and effective care in the ER, and we have been tracking results. Our average wait times to be seen by a provider have been well under 30 minutes, and we have been able to sustain that,” Leonard said. “We have implemented a dyad leadership model in the ER that weaves nursing and physician leadership tightly together so we are making cohesive decisions regularly on behalf of our patients. In addition, we work very closely with other units in the hospital and the house-wide nursing supervisor so we always know how many beds are available for admissions, and they always know the level of illnesses we are treating in the ER. A smooth-running emergency department depends on teamwork and a whole hospital of clinical professionals, and we are fortunate to have that at La Porte Hospital,” Leonard said.
Patients who need emergency care are encouraged to call 911 or come to the La Porte Hospital ER for treatment immediately. For those who need immediate care that isn’t an emergency, Urgent Care is open at Sagamore Plaza, 508 Legacy Plaza West in La Porte, from 8 a.m. – 8 p.m., Monday-Friday, and 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
“Having Urgent Care open in the community to serve patients who aren’t truly experiencing an emergency has helped open capacity at the ER so we are able to see more patients with life-threatening emergencies,” Leonard said. “Urgent Care is good for any kind of care you would typically seek from your regular doctor, but is open convenient hours in case you can’t get an immediate appointment with your usual doctor. All others should come to the ER for emergency care when they need it,” Leonard said.
For more information about the 30-minute ER Service Pledge, visit laportehealth.com.