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Our Lady of Fatima Case Study Emergency Department Efficiency

Case Studies

Improving Physician Engagement and Optimizing Operational Efficiencies: Our Lady of Fatima Hospital

Hospital Information

Facility: Our Lady of Fatima in Providence, Rhode Island

Patient Volume: 16,250+ Annual ED Visits

TeamHealth Services: Emergency Medicine Staffing


Like many hospitals, Our Lady of Fatima Hospital was having difficulty staffing and retaining physicians in its Emergency Department. For about a decade, the hospital employed the ED physicians, but recruitment and retention were ongoing problems. The ED’s medical director faced several daunting issues:

  • Recruiting and retaining physicians
  • Keeping physicians engaged in the hospital’s overall mission
  • Maintaining the appropriate physician to patient ratio to optimize operational and cost efficiencies
  • Establishing a set of metrics that infused accountability into the organization’s culture


Hospital officials describe the transition to TeamHealth ED physician staffing as “smooth.” TeamHealth’s PIC Team (Performance Innovation Consultants) was quickly mobilized to conduct an ED operational assessment. The assessment identified areas of opportunity to positively impact patient throughput concerns.

Darlene Cunha, Chief Operating Officer of CharterCare Health Partners, the parent organization of Our Lady of Fatima, says ED physician leadership is engaged with staff and physicians at the hospital, open to new ways of approaching efficiencies and bringing innovative ways to affect change and maximize patient flow in the ED.

TeamHealth’s triad approach to operational excellence – facility medical director, regional medical director and vice president of operations – enabled the team to work closely with hospital leadership and ED staff to focus on improving processes and care delivery to create a better patient experience, enhance physician performance and engagement, andright-size physician staffing to reduce costs and improve efficiencies.


Our Lady of Fatima now has more engaged physicians, more satisfied patients, significantly enhanced operational efficiencies greater cost savings. Other improvements include:

  • Significant reduction in ED bed to ED physician time
  • Reduced length of stay for all ED patients
  • Substantial reduction in percentage of Left Without Being Seen patients

“Our ED metrics are among the best in the state,” says Cunha. “There is a great synergy between the TeamHealth staff and hospital staff. There is a spirit of collaboration as they work in partnership to not only improve efficiencies but also enhance the patient experience. They have also learned to work within the ED footprint that exists and have come up with creative ideas to maximize space and patient flow which has resulted in improved ED metrics.”


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