Rapid Treatment Area - Emergency Medicine

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*.

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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