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Baystate Mary Lane Hospital Offers 30-Minute ER Pledge

October 25, 2012

In attached photo, Dr. Richard Gerstein, Chair of Emergency Medicine at BMLH, Dr. Richard Romano, Mary Gravel, RN, Marylynn Cordy-Pratt, RN, Dr. Morris Leibowitz and Dr. Jeffrey Gutterman – members of the Emergency Medicine Team at Baystate Mary Lane Hospital.


The mission of the Baystate Mary Lane Hospital Emergency Department is to provide exceptional timely care.  With our new 30-minute pledge, our goal is for a provider to see every patient within 30 minutes of their arrival at our facility. 

Emergency medicine is all about providing highly skilled, essential care without undue delays.    Nevertheless, according to a report from the Government Accountability Office, emergency department wait times continue to increase both in our area and throughout the country. Research from Press Ganey Associates, a group that works with health care organizations to improve clinical outcomes, found that in 2009, patients admitted to hospitals waited an average of six hours in emergency rooms.  Even worse, nearly 400,000 patients waited 24 hours or more.  When essential care is delayed, even in the best institutions, outcomes worsen.


“Baystate Mary Lane Hospital is committed to turning around this trend and to providing rapid response times to patients needing emergency care,” said Dr. Richard Gerstein, Chair of Emergency Medicine at Baystate Mary Lane Hospital. “The 30-minute pledge reflects our ER’s ongoing goal to deliver excellent care as efficiently as we can, each and every time you need it.”


“Our 30-minute pledge is our commitment to make speed and efficiency an essential ingredient of emergency care through ongoing analysis of all our processes,” said Lynn Garreffi, Nurse Manager of the Emergency Department, noting that the 30-minute pledge is the result of teamwork across all departments within the hospital. “Through a collaborative process involving every department, we have adopted principles and techniques to reduce wait times, provide faster turn-around times for lab work and diagnostic testing, and enhance the movement of patients through the various phases of their hospital care.”


Along with Baystate Mary Lane’s efforts to improve efficiency, delivering the highest quality care remains the hospital’s number one goal.  The BMLH Emergency Department is the recipient of the 4-star award from the Professional Research Consultants (PRC), recognized for being in the top 25% of hospitals across the country for patients’ satisfaction with their overall quality of care.  These results were benchmarked against more than 500 other hospitals and service areas in the PRC national database.  “Actual ER wait times may vary depending on the urgency of care required by specific patients in the department,” said Dr. Gerstein.  "While our ER pledge is to see every patient within 30 minutes, the most critical health emergencies will always receive top priority. Even so, we estimate that we can meet this pledge 80-90% of the time.”     

Baystate Mary Lane Hospital’s Emergency Department has enrolled with iTriage, a smartphone-based application for Android and iPhone, to continually provide, in real-time, our actual ER waiting time.  We are the only facility in the area to provide this powerful new service.  Look for iTriage in Google Play and the iTunes appstores.

About the Baystate Mary Lane Emergency Department:

         Our Emergency Department is staffed 24-hours a day by Emergency Medicine board-certified physicians.  Our team includes Physician Assistants, Nurse Practitioners and Registered Nurses who also hold board certifications.


  • Baystate Mary Lane Hospital has received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Silver Plus Quality Achievement Award.  This award recognizes Baystate Mary Lane Hospital’s commitment to and success in implementing a higher standard of stroke care by ensuring that stroke patients receive treatment according to nationally accepted standards and recommendations.  As a designated Stroke Center, Baystate Mary Lane Hospital has the medical staff, nurses, technologists, equipment, and the technology available at our hospital – and via our telemedicine link with specialists on the stroke care team at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield – to provide the best possible care to patients.   We work closely with our local EMS providers, and have an internal paging protocol for prompt notification of our stroke team. This allows for rapid response to acute stroke patients who arrive in our Emergency Department with the support of advanced neuroimaging, laboratory diagnostics and, if applicable, tPA therapy.


  • For those who come to our Emergency Department needing cardiac care, we work closely with our cardiologists at both Baystate Mary Lane and Baystate Medical Center to assure that each patient receives the proper course of care, delivered in the right time at the right place.


Baystate Mary Lane Hospital, a member of Baystate Health, is a 25 bed community-based hospital serving the residents of Hampden, Hampshire and Worcester Counties.  The hospital is ranked in the top 25% nationally for patient satisfaction with overall quality of emergency services and medical/surgical care.  BMLH offers a wide spectrum of services, including 24-hour emergency care, intensive care, inpatient and outpatient surgical care, orthopedics and cancer services through the Baystate Regional Cancer Program.