On Wednesday, May 19, MemorialCare’s Long Beach Medical Center and Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach completed a $2.1 million year-long project to renovate the Emergency Department and upgrade the department’s “Fast Track” triage area to an enhanced “Super Track” with the ultimate goal of decreasing wait times and improving the patient experience.
The Super Track was designed to have low-acuity patients closer to the Emergency Department entrance, while high-acuity patients are treated closer to the elevators leading to patient rooms, should they need to be admitted. This design facilitates a “one-way system,” providing patients with enhanced privacy and more effective workflow for staff. It also offers private rooms for added comfort and privacy.
“Our goal is to treat low-acuity patients in one hour, moderate-acuity patients in two hours and
high-acuity patients in three hours,” Elizabeth Reid, executive director, Emergency, Trauma and Critical Care Services, Long Beach Medical Center and Miller Children’s & Women’s. “Our low-acuity patients make up about 25 percent of our visits. Our new process ensures that these patients are cared for in a timely and efficient manner, allowing the care team to apply the right resource at the right time for all Emergency Department patients.”
The Super Track project was approved to begin construction just as the COVID-19 pandemic began. That’s when hospitals nationwide created outdoor, tented Emergency Department triage areas to help keep patients safe. Long Beach Medical Center and Miller Children’s & Women’s followed these safety protocols, and cared for the community, while working around renovations going on inside once admitted.
“As we were in the process of building our Super Track, the world was hit with a global pandemic and our plans had to transform immediately,” says Ike Mmeje, chief operating officer, Long Beach Medical Center and Miller Children’s & Women’s. “Our entire Emergency Department team had to change their daily workflow to be able to provide compassionate patient care, despite the unexpected. We recognize and appreciate their patience, and the hard work they’ve done to help us get here. We’re excited to offer our newly renovated Emergency Department and more efficient workflows to our patients and community.”
Fortunately, the outdoor triage area allowed for Super Track construction to continue throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and open as quickly as it did, since the indoor Emergency Department lobby and lower-acuity triage area were kept vacant.
The 64-bed Emergency Department is one of the largest of its kind in California and is equipped with the resources needed to provide life-saving care to critically ill or injured neonatal, pediatric and adult patients. Each year, the team cares for more than 100,000 patients. It’s licensed by Emergency Medical Services (EMS) as a Pediatric Medical Center and is designated by Los Angeles County as an Emergency Department Approved for Pediatrics (EDAP), providing 24/7 sub-specialized care for a child’s unique needs. Learn more at memorialcare.org/LBEmergency.