“DART” Program at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Plano Improves Efficiency, Care

Changes in procedures by nurses at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Plano have cut the admission process to 49 minutes and are helping patients better understand chronic diseases.

Stephanie Zabel and her team of seven employees make up the Discharge, Admission, Resource, Transport, or DART, team at Texas Health Plano. “The DART determined that what is done during patients’ admission impacts their hospital care during and after their stay,” she said. “Along with gathering patient information, our nurses are passionate about helping to educate the patients and their families.”

The DART team sees patients who are admitted to the hospital from the emergency department.  They take a comprehensive history and contact family members or pharmacies to verify patient prescriptions and medication dosages. They also educate patients and their families regarding proper care for chronic diseases, such as congestive heart failure and diabetes.

“People inherently know when someone is really taking the time to listen,” said Julie Kalish, a member of the DART team. “We have undivided time to listen during the admissions process which will improve the overall experience for each patient.”

The new procedures, while more comprehensive, take an average of 49 minutes—nearly half the time normal admissions typically take. As a result, working 12-hour shifts, five days a week, and this lean team has saved more than 2,700 hours of work in one year.

“We are thrilled at the work the DART team is doing. Other hospitals within our system are beginning to look at implementing this model,” said Mike Evans, Texas Health Plano president. “This small team has been incredibly successful at working closely with the other nurses caring for the patient with the physicians on the medical staff. They show how much of an impact a small group of people can have when they have a focused mission.”