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Rapid Treatment Area

At Chester County Hospital, we redesigned our ER and reduced most wait times by more than 80% in our Rapid Treatment Area.

It';s called a Rapid Treatment Area because we customize care around your needs to get you on your way quickly. You';ll receive testing and treatment in minutes, not hours. For critical illnesses and life-threatening emergencies, you will benefit from our specialists, advanced expertise and technology. It';s quick emergency room care the way you want it, when you need it.


  • A concept inspired by a model adopted at Penn State Hershey Medical Center.
  • Providers order tests and treatments at initial point of contact to decrease waiting times for patients.
  • Combines the highest level of emergency treatment with unmatched efficiencies and customer service.
  • Staffed at peak time by two physicians or physician';s assistants, four nurses and one technician. Patients are seen upon arrival by a provider for initial assessment.
  • Critical patients are taken immediately to the Main Emergency Department for treatment.
  • Non-critical patients in need of testing, observation or more detailed treatment are taken to the Rapid Treatment Area.
  • Patients with minor ailments can be treated and discharged from the triage room.
  • Patient Registration and medication reconciliation is completed bedside or in the Internal Waiting Area after the initial assessment.
  • The RTA is open 24 hours-a-day/7 days-a-week.

Impressive Results**: Since the Emergency Department Redesign in May 2013

  • Reduced wait times to see provider to 9-10 minutes.
  • Reduced treatment times : The median RTA treatment to discharge time is 1 hour 20 minutes.
  • Improved patient satisfaction : Press Ganey Scores increased from 85.9% in 2012 to 88.9% in 2013.
  • Decreased patients who left without being seen by more than 90%.
  • Relieved pressure on Main Emergency Department - 35% of patients are treated and discharged from RTA.
  • Predicted to allow capacity for 9,000 additional patients each year*.

*Currently ~40,000 ED patients/year.
**Other initiatives such as the Accelerated Low Risk Cardiac Symptom Protocol (ALRCSP) and the opening of the 4 Tower Telemetry Unit have attributed to these successes.

Ongoing Improvements:

  • Continue to renovate the Emergency Department for a better patient experience.
  • Convert the old Family Waiting Room into clinical space.
  • Add additional technology to further expedite the diagnostic and treatment process.
  • Add additional providers to further reduce waiting times.

Last Updated: 11/12/2013