Quality, Safety, Commitment

In September 2008, EPT and Sentara partnered together to pursue clinical and operational improvements across our Emergency Departments.  The operational arm of this partnership is the Clinical Effectiveness Council (CEC).


Previously, each facility varied in operating goals and metrics, and, to some degree, in implementing clinical best practices. The CEC enables a system-level approach to emergency department problem solving and improvement.  The CEC is composed of the Medical Director and Nurse Manager from each facility, along with EPT and Sentara corporate leadership and support personnel.


The CEC meets on a monthly basis, and is charted to focus on clinical, throughput and patient satisfaction improvements.  As the CEC defines and agrees on “best practice,” resources are deployed to develop and implement the improvement across all of the emergency departments concurrently.


Goals and metrics

On a yearly basis, the CEC identifies goals and metrics. Examples to date include throughput metrics based on patient ESI levels, Patient Satisfaction Goals and well-defined Clinical goals for patients with Sepsis, Pneumonia, AMI and Asthma.


EPT’s internal QA/QI program supports the goals of the CEC.  The ability to measure and benchmark performance is fundamental to improvement.  EPT’s quality program produces peer-reviewed, volume-normalized physician report cards. This dataset enables the practice to improve individual physician performance, and has additional value to the system in meeting regulatory requirements and achieving Sentara’s corporate goal of top 10% performance.

The CEC has also sponsored several educational programs aimed at the nursing and ancillary staff of Sentara emergency departments. This program, capitalizing on EPT’s educational expertise,  improves the working knowledge of the emergency department staff, and results in increased staff satisfaction.



The CEC focuses Sentara staff and EPT staff on the same goals and recognizes EPT’s expertise in leading improvement in emergency care delivery.  Aligning our providers and the facility staffs has made a huge impact for our patients.