Atlantic General ER Receives Patient Safety Award


Berlin, Md. – Atlantic General Hospital was one of nine organizations to be included in the Circle of Honor for Patient Safety Innovation this year. The honor was presented at the 8th Annual Maryland Patient Safety Conference in April. A total of sixty Maryland healthcare organizations were considered for the honor.

AGH received the award for the Emergency Department’s Triage Throughput Process Improvement project that was originally piloted during the summer of 2011.

“At the height of tourism season, it has been more difficult to meet our 30-Minute ER Promise to the community,” said Andi West-McCabe, director of emergency services as Atlantic General Hospital. “We wanted to change that and hopefully reduce the number of individuals who leave without receiving treatment.”

On average, the 30 Minute ER Promise is met 95 percent of the time during the off season. During peak volumes in the summer, it has dipped as low as 75 percent of the time.

In the summer, the population of Ocean City, Md. swells drastically, making it the second largest city in the state. So, in addition to increasing staff during this time, the emergency department expanded its triage area. Triage is where patients are initially assessed, and it was identified as a significant bottleneck in the care process.

Once this and other process improvements were made, in June 2011, the 30 minutes or less commitment was met more than 92 percent of the time, compared to 83 percent in June of the previous year. The reduction in wait times continued throughout the summer, and coincided with a roughly 50 percent decrease in the number of individuals leaving the ER without being treated.

About the 30 Minute ER Promise
We pride ourselves on timely, around-the-clock emergency medical care here at Atlantic General and promise that once you enter our doors, you will be placed in your exam bed or will begin to receive treatment within 30 minutes of arrival, or you will receive a free gift.

About Atlantic General Hospital
Atlantic General Hospital has been providing quality health care to the residents of Worcester, Wicomico, Somerset (Md.) and Sussex (Del.) Counties since May 1993. Built by the commitment and generosity of a dedicated community, the hospital’s state-of-the-art facility in Berlin, Md. combines old-fashioned personal attention with the latest in technology and services. Atlantic General Health System, its network of more than 25 primary care provider and specialist offices, care for residents and visitors throughout the region. For more information about Atlantic General Hospital, visit

About The Maryland Patient Safety Center
The Maryland Patient Safety Center brings together hospitals and health care providers to improve patient safety and health care quality for all Marylanders. The goal of the Patient Safety Center is to make Maryland's health care the safest in the nation by focusing on the systems of care, reducing the occurrence of adverse events, and improving the culture of patient safety at Maryland health care facilities. For further information, visit
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