Chapter NineBring People Together

Have you ever gotten sick or injured and been forced to spend long hours in the emergency room? At Scripps, we knew that wait times in our ERs were growing longer; by 2007, I became frustrated that nobody in our organization seemed to be doing anything about it. Having clerked at an emergency room, I knew that we were running our ERs in the same inefficient way hospitals had thirty years earlier. At one of our facilities, 15 percent or more of patients had gotten up and left before being seen, because they couldn't stand waiting anymore.1 Some patients with nonserious conditions were staying eight hours or longer. At times our ERs would become so full and backed up that we'd have to alert fire departments ...

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