north hills monthly magazine

AHN Wexford Hospital Provides Streamlined Emergency Care for Patients of All Ages


While no one ever wants to visit an emergency room, Allegheny Health Network’s (AHN) new AHN Wexford Hospital tries to make the experience as painless as possible. In fact, user surveys sent out to families and patients that have been seen in the hospital’s emergency department (ED) rank the hospital extremely high in patient satisfaction.

“I believe that speaks to the staff and their dedication to interacting and engaging with patients while they are here in the emergency room,” said Kathleen M. Latouf, DO, medical director, Department of Emergency Medicine. “We’ve worked really hard to improve operational efficiency and see and treat patients quickly, which has resulted in some of the lowest wait times in the region.”

According to Director of Emergency Services Mary B. Wood, MSN, RN, CEN, the staff takes a ‘pit crew’ approach to patient care upon arrival.

“We strive to bring people straight back to the exam room in the emergency department and do our triaging there,” she said. “That way, the physician can see the patient faster, and patients aren’t spending time sitting in the waiting room.

“Once the patient is seen, the nurses receive the orders on the spot, which results in faster turnaround times,” she added.

The facility is designed to be patient-focused, with the 22-bed emergency department located on the first floor, flanked on each side by the radiology and laboratory departments. This streamlined approach helps contribute to AHN Wexford Hospital’s impressive low wait times; in March, the average door-to-room time was two minutes, with the door-to-physician time at nine minutes.

Board-certified emergency physicians are equipped to handle any emergencies that patients encounter, and the hospital also places an emphasis on pediatric care, with in-house pediatricians available 24/7 to deal with everything from broken bones to respiratory illnesses. 

To help AHN’s youngest patients destress and hopefully become more comfortable in the emergency room environment, each pediatric patient receives a Jared Box©, which contains small gift items to help distract them during evaluation and treatment.

As a full-service hospital, AHN Wexford Hospital also has an ICU, med-surg units, surgical suites, a cardiac catheterization lab, and labor and delivery rooms. Patients stay in private rooms with private bathrooms, and there is a playroom where families can wait comfortably.

“There is a real focus on the patient here; any questions that come up are always answered by what would benefit the patient the most,” said Dr. Latouf. “It’s a wonderful place to work and a wonderful place to seek care.”