published on March 19, 2019 - 2:09 PM
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Kaweah Delta hospital in Visalia has selected the members of its first Emergency Department Advisory Council, which aims to enhance patient experiences in its emergency department.

The council, which had its first meeting on Feb. 27, selected 14 people to sit on the council: Phil Bourdette, Guy Christian, Susan Delgado, Laurie Diamant, Sean Doyle, Rick Eastes, Kathy Johnston, Dr. Ravi Kumar, Christine Moore, Belva Peden, Monica Peterson, Gailerd Swisegood, Ann Tonini and Thomas Wright.

Members will attend a monthly 90-minute meeting with several Kaweah Delta staff members, and will serve a two-year term.

“Regular feedback from the community is important because it helps us improve,” said Deborah Volosin, director of community engagement at Kaweah Delta. “This new council will create a dialogue and help us gather ideas so that we can continually improve programs and policies to address healthcare challenges and enhance the experience of our emergency department patients and visitors.”

The hospital’s emergency department is undergoing a multi-phase expansion, with completion expected by the summer of 2020. The expansion includes an addition of 33 patient beds that will bring the total to 74, doubling the size of the waiting room to accommodate over 100 patients, and a new are that will screen patients quicker.

Kaweah Delta’s emergency department was built to serve 72,000 patients a year, but today, the staff cares for more than 90,000 patients a year.

To ensure quality care for the patients, there is now a patient navigator in the emergency department that will be assisted by a Licensed Vocational Nurse.

Changes have been made to ensure that patients have their vitals taken by an emergency department technician after patients are seen by a registered nurse, and that they are seen by a doctor within 30 minutes of arrival so tests can be ordered if needed.

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