SSH emergency department offers 15-minute guarantee


ELIZABETHTON, Tenn. – Fifteen minutes. That’s the longest anyone should have to wait in the emergency department at Sycamore Shoals Hospital before seeing a health care provider. Hospital officials are so confident in the emergency department’s ability to provide fast, quality service that they’re willing to make it a guarantee.    

 Starting June 25, any patient who has to wait longer than 15 minutes before seeing a nurse, physician or physician’s assistant will be offered a $25 Visa gift card.

Hospital CEO Dwayne Taylor credits the ED staff at SSH with making significant improvements over the past several months that have resulted in faster service and increased patient satisfaction.

“The ED tracks every aspect of care, beginning the minute the patient comes through the door,” Taylor said. “We now know down to the minute how long each step takes – for example, how long it takes for a patient to be triaged, to have labs drawn, to get lab results back. The culture the team in the ED has created has made everyone in the department acutely aware of the importance of timely service, and tracking time for each patient has helped SSH make great strides in improving the ED processes and turnaround times.”

SSH has also made significant technology investments that aid in faster service and better care, including SonoSite portable ultrasound, GlideScope technology that provides a clear real-time view of the airway for quick intubation, and an electronic ED tracking board that monitors the progress of patients as they move through the treatment plan.

“Emergency situations can be confusing. We want to make it easy for folks to decide where to go by offering the community both high-quality care and speed. I believe patients will be impressed with how quickly they move through the visit,” said Melanie Stanton, chief nursing officer for SSH. “Sycamore Shoals Hospital is well equipped to take care of any situation and is backed by Johnson City Medical Center’s level 1 trauma center.”

About Mountain States Health Alliance

Mountain States Health Alliance, a not-for-profit health care organization based in Johnson City, Tenn., operates a family of hospitals serving a 29-county, four-state region (Northeast Tennessee, Southwest Virginia, Southeastern Kentucky and Western North Carolina). MSHA offers a large tertiary hospital, several community hospitals, two critical access hospitals, rehabilitation, a children’s hospital, a behavioral health hospital, home care and hospice services as well as a comprehensive medical management corporation. Its 13,500 team members, associated physicians and volunteers are committed to its mission of bringing loving care to health care. For more information, visit

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