With their new “Geaux Zone”, East Jefferson General Hospital aims to significantly change the way many of us think of a visit to the Emergency Room. Emergency Departments historically have seen patients on a basis of who is clinically in more dire need. Those in more “emergent” need go first and those who are triaged with less specific or more “minor” needs wait until a physician is free to see them.
The Geaux Zone allows those patients who are triaged and assessed as not needing to be placed on a monitor or won’t need to be placed in a bed move through to treatment quickly. Now, those patients can move directly to a physician screening, receive a treatment plan and move through the process more quickly than before. This is not only beneficial to the patient, it saves beds for those who will truly need them. The patients who most benefit from the new Geaux Zone include those with minor abdominal pain, minor illnesses or those who need simple medication or treatment but will not be hospitalized.
The Geaux Zone is based upon best practices that have worked elsewhere. It is a continuation of something EJGH had been using previously called “Fast Track”. When asked if this completely replaces Fast Track, Cheryl Carter, EJGH’s Director of the Emergency Department described the Geaux Zone as, “Fast Track on Steroids”. The very nature of an Emergency Department means completely eliminating waiting for those with minor to moderate ailment is probably not practical. But, Geaux Zone and other innovations are designed to significantly cut the wait times and also use the resources in the ER more effectively so all patients get the care they need as efficiently as possible.