Governments around the world often set targets for emergency department (ED) care. However, staff at many hospitals are skeptical of these targets and the processes to help achieve them.
Auckland City Hospital is an 833-bed New Zealand public hospital with 50,000 adult ED visits annually.
Auckland City Hospital used a year-long, internal marketing campaign to rebrand the government ED wait time target as “Valuing Patients’ Time.” The campaign made the connection between seeing patients faster and giving them better care by focusing on the positive effect of shorter wait times on the overall patient experience.
Between 2009 and 2012, inpatient transfer wait times dropped from 8 hours to 90 minutes, and ED length of stay (LOS) declined from 6.88 hours to 4.54 hours.