SSH Emergency Department undergoes improvements


Rebeka Christian 
MSHA Video Communications Reporter, Marketing & Public Relations 
(423) 952-3174 

ELIZABETHTON, Tenn. - The Emergency Department at Sycamore Shoals Hospital, part of Mountain States Health Alliance, has undergone major changes since fall. Over the past seven months, team members and physicians at SSH have worked diligently to improve throughput and safety measures and to focus on patient-centered care. 
According to Dr. Jon S. Mettert, the new medical director of the Sycamore Shoals Hospital Emergency Department, 100 percent of the patients who have visited the ED in the last month and a half were seen and treatment started within 25 minutes of arrival. As a result, patient satisfaction in the ED has improved dramatically. 
In order to further reduce wait times and lower the cost of health care in the region, SSH is also introducing a new Qualified Medical Practitioner (QMP) program. The program will begin Feb. 9 and will screen patients coming to the ED to determine their level of acuity.
If a qualified medical practitioner determines that a patient’s medical condition is non-emergent upon completion of the medical screening exam, the patient will have three options: The patient may stay in the emergency department and see the physician for treatment after registering and paying a $250 fee, the patient may seek treatment at a First Assist or other urgent care facility, or the patient may choose to follow up with a family physician. 
“This is something Mountain States has already implemented in Washington County and it’s going extremely well,” said Ed Herbert, vice president of Marketing and Communications for MSHA. “This program should result in more efficient care for the patient at a lower cost for those who are not actually in need of emergency care.” 
Mettert added, “We certainly don’t want people in the wrong clinical setting and then getting a bill because their insurance denied the visit.”

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