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​30 Minutes or Less Pledge

Keeping Your Wait Time to a Minimum

What exactly is the 30-Minutes-or-Less Emergency Department Service Pledge?
When patients enter the Emergency Department at MultiCare Valley Hospital , the time of their arrival will be noted. Our pledge is that we will work diligently to have our patients initially seen by a medical professional (physician, physician assistant or nurse practitioner) within 30 minutes of the patients' noted arrival.

Does this mean patients will be on their way home in 30 minutes or less?
No. We will work hard to have a medical professional initially see our patients and begin their evaluation and treatment within 30 minutes of their noted arrival. Depending on the nature of their illness or injury, and the unpredictable volume of patients requiring emergency care at any given time, the wait time and duration of each visit will vary.

How is the time frame of patients' visits documented for this pledge?
When a patient arrives and checks in, the time of arrival will be noted. When the medical professional initially sees the patient, the time will be documented by the Emergency Department staff.

Is this service pledge really necessary for an emergency department?
In many emergency departments across the country, wait times have been increasing. We want to assure our patients that we are dedicated to not only offering quality care but also to working diligently to provide that care as efficiently as possible.

When do the 30 minutes officially start?
The 30 minutes start when the patient checks in with our staff at the Emergency Department desk.

Does the 30-Minutes-or-Less ED Service Pledge affect how patients are prioritized?
While the goal is to initially see every patient within 30 minutes of their noted arrival, the most severe cases will always receive immediate attention.

How can the Emergency Department maintain quality care if speed is the priority?
It is not our objective now, nor will it ever be, to "rush" patients through the Emergency Department. Our process improvements have been focused on getting patients into a room as quickly as possible and enabling the medical professional to initially see a patient and begin their diagnosis and treatment in a timely manner.

Is the 30-Minutes-or-Less ED Service Pledge in effect at all times and does it apply to all ages — infants to senior citizens?
Yes.

Do I have to wait up to 30 minutes for someone to say, "May I help you?"
Absolutely not. Emergency Department staff will greet you as soon as you come in, and a nurse will assess your condition through a triage process. We know your time is valuable and we pledge to work diligently to have a medical professional initially see you within 30 minutes of your noted arrival.

Does this cost more?
No.

Note: While many patients are initially seen by a medical professional within 30 minutes of their arrival, during some peak times when the number of patients and/or trauma situations exceeds the number of providers or beds, some patients are not initially seen within 30 minutes of their noted arrival.

Should you have any additional questions about the 30-Minutes-or-Less ER Service Pledge, please ask any of our Emergency Department staff.