Montefiore in the News
Montefiore’s Discharge Lounge Enhances Patient Satisfaction, While Saving 10,000+ Bed Hours
- August 3, 2023
Montefiore’s Moses Campus Hits New Milestones in Care Delivery
BRONX, NY: August 3, 2023. Endless call bells, telephone rings and conversations around the clock are all to be expected during a hospital stay. Akin to an airport, a serene space like a VIP lounge, represents calm in the middle of a storm. By creating a peaceful space overseen by certified nurse assistants (CNA), patients can have enhanced experiences at the end of their stay. At Montefiore’s Henry and Lucy Moses Division, its lounge also frees beds up more quickly, in-turn, reducing wait times for incoming patients. Due exclusively to the discharge lounge, Montefiore has hit a milestone of 10,000 bed hours saved. That equates to 56 additional inpatient beds.
“We often can’t control how a patient arrives at our doors, but we can control much of what happens during their stay and when they are ready to leave,” said Elodia Mercier, BS, MS, RN-C, NE, director, Nursing Throughput Operations, who has served at Montefiore for almost 40 years. “By having a calm setting staffed by skilled clinicians, we can help people feel more like themselves, and assist them in focusing on and preparing for what matters most when they exit our doors. Our objective is clear: create an environment that is closer to where people want to be, versus where they have to be.”
Nestled near the front lobby of Montefiore’s largest campus, CNAs pick up patients from their rooms and bring them to the lounge. Approximately one-third of adults leaving the Bronx hospital and emergency department are cared for in this setting, where staff strike up conversations or guests can watch television while enjoying complementary snacks. These same CNAs, or discharge lounge coordinators, who first greet the patients, escort them to their vehicles when leaving the hospital. The next day, they call to ensure people returned home safely, that discharge plans are clear, and that these former patients are starting to feel better. If there are any issues, these are immediately flagged and addressed by their medical team at Montefiore.
“During prior hospital stays, I would have to wait for someone to bring me downstairs, and then wait for a cab to get home,” said 59-year-old Bronx resident, John Minena. “Now when I’m almost ready to leave, a nurse brings me to a space where I can relax, and I have water and refreshments. It is a big difference. When these same nurses who you just spent time with, call you the next day to follow up, it is like a family member checking up on you.”
On average, the lounge, which opened in June, 2021, sees as many as 43 patients a day, each person staying for 35 minutes, on average. By staying in the lounge, staff can coordinate where family members or other transportation can pick up people when leaving the hospital, avoiding parking expenses as well as confusion over where to go.
Simultaneously, this approach frees up in-hospital transportation waits, and allows housekeeping to come into newly vacated rooms and turn them over – decreasing wait times for inpatient beds that previously would still have been in use.
“In the short time it has been open, our customer-centric discharge lounge has led to increased patient satisfaction, and an extra level of trust and confidence with our staff,” said Peter Semczuk, Senior Vice President and Executive Director of the Moses and Wakefield Campuses. “As a bonus, we are increasing access to lifesaving care for our Bronx community, it doesn’t get better than that.”
About Montefiore Health System
Montefiore Health System is one of New York’s premier academic health systems and is a recognized leader in providing exceptional quality and personalized, accountable care to approximately three million people in communities across the Bronx, Westchester, and the Hudson Valley. It is comprised of 10 hospitals, including the Children's Hospital at Montefiore, Burke Rehabilitation Hospitaland more than 200 outpatient ambulatory care sites. The advanced clinical and translational research at its medical school, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, directly informs patient care and improves outcomes. From the Montefiore-Einstein Centers of Excellence in cancer, cardiology and vascular care, pediatrics, and transplantation, to its preeminent school-based health program, Montefiore is a fully integrated healthcare delivery system providing coordinated, comprehensive care to patients and their families. For more information, please visit www.montefiore.org. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram and LinkedIn, or view us on Facebook and YouTube.