Santa Clara Valley Medical Center (SCVMC) in San Jose, California is a public teaching hospital affiliated with Stanford University. As a designated Level One Trauma Center and Safety Net hospital, SCVMC handles more than 25,000 inpatient admissions and 800,000 outpatient and emergency visits annually. It is the only healthcare facility in California that co-locates five trauma and emergency care services on one campus: adult and pediatric trauma centers, spinal cord injury center, brain injury center, and burn center. It is the busiest healthcare facility in the region, ultimately serving the health needs of one in four residents of Santa Clara County.
After the introduction of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in March 2010, SCVMC became even busier, increasing its average daily bed census to 380 beds. Given staffing levels and infrastructure, the hospital was experiencing too many delays in patient admissions. Wait times increased from when a patient was stabilized in the Emergency Department (ED) to when they were admitted into a hospital bed. As one can imagine, this added anxiety to an already stressful situation.