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REDESIGNING EMERGENCY CARE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

REDESIGNING EMERGENCY CARE CUTS WAIT TIMES AND IMPROVES PATIENT SATISFACTION AT LUTHERAN MEDICAL CENTER

July 10, 2007, Brooklyn, New York…Lutheran Medical Center (LMC) has redesigned its Emergency Department which has reduced wait times, increased patient flow and quality, and improved patient satisfaction.

"This was a massive overhaul of the entire emergency department that started three years ago when we expanded its physical size by nearly 60 percent," says Wendy Z. Goldstein, president and CEO. "By not only rebuilding, but redefining the emergency response process, we've dramatically reduced overall wait times, and most importantly, set a new standard for emergency care."

Lutheran, like many other N.Y.C. hospitals, has seen steady growth in patient ED visits resulting in ever-increasing wait times. In response, the medical center created a multidisciplinary team to review and revamp the entire ED process with dramatic results. In fact, the average door to doctor time is under 30 minutes. "We can't eliminate wait time altogether but we can make the experience for patients a much smoother one," says Claudia Caine, COO. "So far we've added additional staff positions, new computer systems and implemented a Quick Care Program where thousands of patients have been triaged, treated and released in record times."

Quick Care Program: LMC's new Quick Care Program has reduced wait times by 63 percent and is the first of its kind in Brooklyn. The program includes a dedicated physician assistant allowing patients to be seen and treated quickly and efficiently. Most patients are seen within only 15 minutes.

Electronic Medical Records and Bedside Registration: LMC now uses EmpowER, the latest computerized information system that electronically tracks ED visits speeding up triage, registration and eliminates paperwork. With electronic tracking boards, and laptop computers staff can now get important patient information at the bedside quickly and with more comfort to the patient. The new bedside registration system means patients no longer have to wait in the waiting room before being seen by a nurse or doctor, as is typical in most emergency departments.

Patient Navigation Program: Three full-time staff now serve as liaisons between primary physicians and ED staff. Individuals often arrive at their doctor's office with an illness or injury that requires more serious attention. When this happens, doctors can call LMC's Patient Navigators with critical information, allowing ED staff to prepare in advance for the patient's arrival. Doctors can provide treatment advice, medication information, x-ray and other patient details in real-time.

ED Huddle / Inpatient Huddle: A representative from every discipline and patient unit meet in the ED at 11 a.m. each day to plan the day's strategy with the chief operating officer. Together they work to ensure that every patient that needs admission has a bed as quickly as possible.

ED Diplomat Program: Lutheran has created a new program that uses its own senior staff members as ED diplomats. Diplomats complete hourly rounds, speaking to patients and family members to ensure that they are comfortable and receiving all the services they need in a timely fashion.

ED Greeter: A staff member meets and greets every patient who walks into the ED. Patients and families are provided with estimated wait times and regular updates. The greeter helps to ensure that patients are seen in a timely fashion.

Lutheran's Emergency Department treats more than 50,000 patients a year. Average volume in the ED has grown steadily each year with 2007 year-end visits expected to reach nearly 60,000. With a New York State recognized Level 1 Trauma Center and Stroke Center, emergency response standards are among the highest and include a full compliment of surgical and medical experts available around the clock, 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. The Stroke Center designation means that LMC has a comprehensive stroke and neuro team ready to respond in a moments notice in the ED. In fact, Lutheran administers more tPA (an advanced clock breaking drug) than any other hospital in New York. The drug can only be administered within the first few hours of onset of stroke, which is directly related to Lutheran's advanced rapid response system.

A Level I Trauma Center and Stroke Center, Lutheran Medical Center (LMC) has cared for Brooklyn communities since 1883. As a full service 476-bed teaching hospital, LMC is the hub of Lutheran HealthCare, a network of primary, acute and long-term care centers in southwest Brooklyn. The LMC Surgical Weight Loss Institute is the only program in Brooklyn to be designated as a Center of Excellence by the American Society for Bariatric Surgery while also holding a Level 1 Accreditation from the American College of Surgeons. Learn more about LMC and its commitment to patient care excellence, community service, health education and research online at www.LutheranMedicalCenter.com.

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