Rapid Treatment Area - Emergency Medicine

At Chester County Hospital, we re-engineered our Emergency Department to reduce most wait times by more than 80%.


The patient-flow process provides an expedited pathway for your care. Initial orders are placed by the Emergency Department (ED) provider and you may be directed to an RTA room for treatment or expanded assessment. Patient Registration and medication reconciliation is completed after the initial assessment. The RTA is open 24/7.

  • Critical patients are taken immediately to the main section of the ED for treatment.
  • Non-critical patients in need of testing, observation or more detailed treatment stay in the Rapid Treatment Area. Providers order tests and treatments at initial point of contact to decrease waiting times for patients. 
  • Patients with minor ailments can be treated and discharged from the triage room. Combines the highest level of emergency treatment with unmatched efficiency and customer service.


An Internal Waiting Room (IWR) is utilized to have patients wait for radiology and/or laboratory tests or results. A radiology technician will come to the waiting room to take you to the Radiology suite, and then return you to the waiting room after the test. Family members can wait with you there, which is also where a Patient Access representative at Registration will complete your paperwork and an ED nurse will speak with you in a private area about your home medications.

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*.

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.

*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.

*Currently ~40,000 ED patients/year.

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