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Hooked on heroin, she sat 2 days in an ER. Hospitals say you pay for this stay, too. – Charlotte Observer

A 25-year-old Gaston County woman who is addicted to heroin waited two days in a hospitals emergency department, in a psychiatric observation room with no bed.

She needed help for her drug addiction, her family says, but local treatment centers were full.

They dont have any place to put them. Theyre so packed, says the womans grandmother.

Instead, the woman was taken to an emergency room by police last month, under a judges order to involuntarily commit her. The womans family says she had threatened to kill herself and theyve been concerned about her health and behavior after learning shes been using heroin for several years.

The ER, according to the family, was the only option.

A growing opioid and heroin epidemic has escalated a problem that health care professionals have been raising concerns about for years: North Carolina has inadequate services for people with mental and behavioral health diseases.

Doctors in North Carolina confirm theres an increasing demand for help and patients are turning to emergency rooms an expensive and ineffective place for treatment.

Often, patients wait days a process called boarding. Hospitals say it takes a toll on their budgets and leaves fewer beds available for other people who need the emergency room.

Most ERs cant provide full substance abuse or psychiatric health treatment. Instead, they can assess patients and offer some medical care then work to transfer patients to specialized treatment centers.

But, when the treatment centers are full, hospitals end up keeping patients inside emergency room departments.

Recently, the North Carolina Hospital Association reported 30 to 80 percent of emergency beds are used for boarding. The result is higher costs for all patients and delays for patients who are in a mental or behavioral health crisis.

For privacy reasons, the Observer is not publishing the name of the Gaston County patient or her grandmother.

Her family says they grew concerned in the past year about changes in the womans behavior. Then, they learned she had started using heroin while she was in college in western North Carolina a few years ago. After graduating from college, she got a job but she stayed hooked on heroin, her grandmother said.

Heroin is an opioid, a class of drugs that now kills more people in North Carolina each year than car wrecks.

This familys experience of a long stay inside an ER and difficulty finding a treatment bed is a common one in North Carolina.

After calling state and local lawmakers to complain about bed shortage, the 70-year-old grandmother called the Observer in late June as her granddaughter waited inside CaroMont Hospitals emergency psychiatric unit in Gastonia.

There, two rooms, separated by gender, house three recliners each for patients. Theres no medical equipment inside and no other furniture, except for an encased television with no wires exposed. Patients may use a wireless phone and are supervised by hospital staff at a nursing station.

This is where the young woman stayed for 48 hours, her grandmother said. Hospitals are required to accept patients in mental health or drug abuse crisis and perform psychiatric evaluation.

CaroMont Hospitals average patient boarding time is four days the same as the states average for adults who are waiting for a transfer to one of North Carolinas three state-run psychiatric hospitals. For a transfer to a taxpayer-supported treatment center, the average statewide wait is 2.5 days.

We will have patients present to our (emergency department) because they have nowhere else to go, said Dr. Tom Davis, chief medical officer for CaroMont.

It is truly a public health crisis and it is really complicated … Our society in general has not funded or put an emphasis on helping to treat and manage mental health problems.

CaroMonts ER sees nearly 90,000 patients a year. When mental and behavioral patients at the ER dont have acute physical medical problems, they can wait in rooms called psychiatric suites.

Davis and other hospital officials said they couldnt talk about the specific case of any patient. When boarding, the hospital prioritizes the patients safety and medical needs, he said. And, if a patient needs follow-up care but not inpatient treatment, hospitals discharge them with a treatment plan.

Patient boarding and gaps in health care services for mental and behavioral health patients are problems nationwide.

But North Carolina, compared to other states, sees nearly twice the rate of psychiatric patients who resort to the ER each year, says Martha Whitecotton, senior vice president for behavioral health services at Carolinas HealthCare System in Charlotte. Carolinas has an emergency room that exclusively serves patients in behavioral health crisis and its often full.

On average, the boarding time at a Carolinas HealthCare emergency room or another facility in the system is about 17 hours.

But we definitely have patients who are there much longer, Whitecotton said, including children and geriatric patients because of fewer beds for those populations.

In Charlotte, both Carolinas HealthCare System and Novant Health told the Observer they board up to 40 patients daily, with some fluctuation, including those who go to the ER in crisis, with mental health and substance abuse issues.

At Novant, the average boarding time varies by location from 10 hours in Huntersville to close to 17 hours at Presbyterian Medical Center in Charlotte.

Many hospitals in the state including Novant, Carolinas and CaroMont are trying to cut down on the boarding wait times by using telemedicine services that include psychiatric consultations by phone and video.

Each time boarding happens, hospitals stand to lose thousands of dollars.

Its draining the system, said Julia Wacker, vice president for community and behavioral health with the North Carolina Hospital Foundation. Its counterproductive in every way.

Nearly 80 percent of mental health and substance abuse patients in North Carolina are covered by Medicaid or dont have insurance, which means tax dollars pay for some of their costs and hospitals absorb the rest.

Hospitals lose money by the hour when they board uninsured and Medicaid or Medicare patients because expenses past the first day of their stay cant be fully reimbursed. Some experts estimate this type of boarding costs about $100 an hour, per patient.

These extended stays in the ER burden hospital budgets, and those costs are being shifted to other patients and payers.

Some doctors and health care administrators say boarding is happening at higher rates because North Carolina doesnt have enough treatment and psychiatric beds. Others say patients are turning to the ER because preventative care for mental health disease and drug addiction is too expensive or inaccessible. Data shows about half of the states counties dont have enough psychiatric doctors.

The stakes are high, with nearly 1,100 opioid deaths annually in North Carolina a death rate higher than murder rates in the state. That figure from 2015 is a 73 percent spike compared to opioid deaths in the state 10 years ago.

Over the same time period, the wait for treatment beds and the number of patients resorting to the emergency room for mental and behavioral health care has gone up fourfold, the hospital association reports.

North Carolinas Department of Health and Human Services is trying to alleviate the boarding problem and related opioid crisis on several fronts. This year, the department introduced new criteria for the groups that manage mental and behavioral health care, and it plans to impose penalties and fees if services arent improved.

Adding beds would reduce some ER boarding but one research project performed in North Carolina suggests the state would need to effectively double the amount of beds it currently has to just ensure patients arent waiting more than 24 hours in a hospital for a transfer a potential solution that would take years to build out and millions of dollars not currently allocated.

Partners Behavioral Health Management is trying to reduce the problem of boarding at ER rooms, said Dr. Michael Forrester, a psychologist and the chief clinical officer. Partners operates in eight N.C. counties, including Gaston, Iredell and Catawba. Its one of seven regional entities that receive state and federal tax dollars to act as a managed care organization for mental and behavioral health needs.

These regional organizations have special care centers for patients who are in mental health or drug addiction crisis, as an alternative to the ER, as well as offering individualized outpatient treatment.

DHHS says many of its solutions for emergency room boarding are routed through Partners and the other regional organizations. One pilot program is running now in 13 N.C. counties, with the aim of diverting patients in behavioral health crisis away from ERs and on to specialty facilities.

A better approach to getting patients the right kind of health care outside of an ER is key, says Billy West, executive director at Daymark Recovery Services, a growing mental health and substance abuse treatment provider, with 32 clinics in North Carolina.

Whether a person is in a mental health crisis, involuntarily committed through court or is personally ready to start drug addiction treatment, West says, doctors and health care providers want to act quickly in that window of time to help a patient. Boarding delays access to long-term health solutions, West said, and may contribute to a dangerous and expensive cycle.

Some statewide statistics suggest this may be happening already.

More than one quarter of Medicaid patients who use an ER for mental and behavioral health issues return to an emergency room the same year with the same problems, North Carolina DHHS statistics show. Of those, nearly 13 percent were return ER visitors within a months time.

In the young womans case in Gastonia, her family worries shell be one of these statistics. After being discharged last month, the woman followed up on outpatient treatment as prescribed by the hospital, says her grandmother, but more waiting may be in the future.

The local outpatient treatment facility shes enrolled in has some wait times for appointments the young woman will need, her grandmother told the Observer Tuesday.

Ill do anything, says the grandmother, who adopted her granddaughter around her first birthday. I want to get her good help now.

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Hooked on heroin, she sat 2 days in an ER. Hospitals say you pay for this stay, too. – Charlotte Observer

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Belleville OKs Clara Maass emergency room expansion – NorthJersey.com

A rendering of the proposed Emergency Department renovations at Clara Maass Medical Center in Belleville.(Photo: Mollie Shauger/NorthJersey.com)

The Belleville Zoning Board of Adjustment has given its go-ahead for Clara Maass Medical Center to expand its Emergency Services department.

As previously reported, the hospital was seeking approval for a 1,400-square-foot addition and renovations to its Emergency Department and an 8,000-square-foot courtyard between the ER and a recently built Intensive Care Unit. The application included four variances.

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Domenic Segalla, the chief operating officer and chief financial officer of Clara Maass, appeared before the board on Thursday, July 6, to explain the reasons for the upgrades. Segallasaid Clara Maass is looking to expand the current Emergency Room by adding more space and to segregate pediatrics andbehavioral health treatment areas. Right now, the two areas are commingled, he said.

“Our whole goal isto createand help to expand and create a need that is here for the community, and how do we serve that need. We feel very strongly that right now we don’t have the capacity to provide this need for the community,” Segalla said.

“We’ve spend a lot of time over the last sixmonths trying to become as efficient as we can, and even thoughwe’ve made a lot of progress, it’s still a small setting for the volume we continue to see,” he added.

The hospital sees about 20,000 pediatric visits a year, and about 10,000 behavioral health visits, he said.

As a result of the the Affordable Care Act, more patients are being treated in an outpatient setting, he noted, and some with behavioral health issues don’t necessarily need to be admitted to the hospital.

Clara Maass intends to addmore observation beds for these patients tobe treated and cared for in a safer and more efficient way, but not necessarily admitted to the hospital, he explained.

Also, these treatmentareashave special requirements in that they cannot contain furnishings and other items that a patient could potentially use for committing suicide, he said.

A map shows where the additional construction would occur at Clara Maass.(Photo: Mollie Shauger/NorthJersey.com)

The expansion would also include the addition of 10 pediatric treatment rooms on top of 13, for patients to be examined,he said.

The Zoning Boardbecame hung up on the aspect of parking, as the hospital had proposed eliminating a small number of spaces to enhancethe drop-off area to the Emergency Department.

Board ChairA.J. Del Guercio and Vice ChairWilliam Villanoexpressedconcernthat patients in distress or those who have physical ailments may not be able to walk from another lot 250 feet away from the ER.

The application had proposed a loss of 16 parking spaces overall. However the applicants agreed to provide four additional parking spots at the drop-off area, and to reserve seven in a nearby employee lot for Emergency Room visitors, and not to refuse other ER visitors from parking in the lot.

Email: gray@northjersey.com

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Tough question for hospitals: Who’s too risky to release? – Auburn Citizen

NEW YORK Four days before Alexander Bonds ambushed and killed a New York City police officer, he was in a hospital emergency room getting a psychiatric evaluation. The hospital released him the same day.

Now the hospital’s actions are under a state review ordered by the governor. St. Barnabas Hospital says it handled Bonds appropriately and welcomes the inquiry.

The decision was one psychiatrists across the country make regularly: whether patients pose enough danger to themselves or others to require hospitalization. Practitioners say that it’s often a difficult call to make and that even an experienced evaluator can’t predict someone’s behavior.

“Most of the time, it’s very complicated. You’re trying to make an assessment: Is the person going to a home? Is there family? Are they reliable? What was the specific reason they were brought in? Is that likely to occur again?” said Bea Grause, president of the statewide hospital and health system association HANYS and a former emergency room nurse.

Bonds, 34, evidently had a history of mental health problems. There were antidepressant and anti-psychotic medications in his apartment, and his girlfriend told officers she took him to St. Barnabas for the psychiatric evaluation July 1, police said.

He was observed for seven to eight hours in the emergency room, where he was seen by a physician and then a psychiatrist, hospital spokesman Steven Clark said.

“We believe the proper protocols and standards were met,” he said.

By the night of July 4, Bonds’ paranoid, erratic behavior worried his girlfriend enough that she called police to look for him. They didn’t find him before he marched up to a parked police vehicle and shot through the window just after midnight, striking Officer Miosotis Familia in the head. Soon after, officers shot and killed him after they say he drew a weapon on them.

The state Health Department said it plans to interview St. Barnabas staffers, conduct inspections and examine records to review Bonds’ case and the hospital’s policies and prescribing practices.

Under state law, people can be involuntarily hospitalized for at least 48 hours if they pose a substantial risk of causing serious injury to themselves or others.

“If you’re making a determination that someone’s a danger to themselves or others, you better be pretty clear about it. Because you’re taking away their liberties,” said Grause, whose association represents hospitals and nursing homes.

Psychiatrists caution that the risk can be difficult to pinpoint.

“While psychiatrists can often identify circumstances associated with an increased likelihood of violent behavior, they cannot predict dangerousness with definitive accuracy,” the American Psychiatric Association said in a 2012 position statement.

Doctors and other hospital staffers can encounter agitated emergency room patients they’ve never seen before.

While paying close attention to what patients say and do, doctors also might test to determine whether a medical problem or medication might be spurring the behavior. They consider whether the cause could be alcohol or illegal drugs, a clue sometimes illuminated by observing patients for hours. They may look into whether someone has dementia.

Some patients arrive clearly violent, and others are just having a bad drug reaction that will wear off. But “there’s this vast gray area in the middle that takes a lot of experience, a lot of knowledge and balancing all of the factors that go into a good assessment,” said Dr. Vivian Pender, a New York City psychiatrist and public affairs representative for the New York County Psychiatric Society.

Police have been working to determine Bonds’ motive in shooting Familia. Bonds, who had served prison time for a 2005 armed robbery, had railed about police and prison officers in a Facebook video last September.

Familia, 48, was a 12-year New York Police Department veteran and a mother of three. She was selfless, “incredibly funny” and full of warmth and wisdom, her 20-year-old daughter, Genesis Villella, said Friday.

She “went to work every day proud to do her job, to protect us,” Villella said.

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Tough question for hospitals: Who’s too risky to release? – Auburn Citizen

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New unit in UR Thompson Hospital aims to free up emergency room – 13WHAM-TV

A new 12-bed observation unit at UR Medicines Thompson Hospital will open next week. (Photo: Thompson Hospital)

Canandaigua, N.Y. (WHAM) – A new 12-bed observation unit at UR Medicines Thompson Hospital will open next week.

The space will be available to patients on July 12. The $2.1 million project is said to be the first of its kind in the Finger Lakes region.

The Observation Unit can accommodate patients at the hospital who need to be evaluated and treated in a short period of time.

In 2016, more than 27,000 Emergency Department visits were made to Thompson Hospital. Of these visits, approximately 7 percent resulted in an observation status.

The new unit will allow space to be freed up in the Emergency Department during peak times, such as flu season.

Now, patients who are low acuity and low risk will have a quiet, comfortable place geared specifically toward them where they can wait for the answers they need before returning in a timely fashion to the comfort of their own homes, said Dr. Ali Hamdan, Thompson Health Director of Hospital Medicine.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony took place June 30.

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New RCMH emergency room now open – Richmond Daily News

The new emergency room at Ray County Memorial Hospital opened Thursday and is ready for use. Hospital staff, from left, are: Douglas McCune, director of the emergency room; Stacy Davidson, RN and supervisor of the emergency room; Earl Sheehy, hospital CEO/administrator; and Donna Lamar, RN and director of nurses. (Photo by Leah Wankum/Richmond News)

By Leah Wankum, Editor

The old emergency room at Ray County Memorial Hospital fit three beds comfortably, with just curtains for partitions separating them from each other and the nurses station. Built in 1989, the old space offered only one trauma room for more serious cases. The nurses station was small and cramped.

No more. The new emergency room opened Thursday and is ready for use.

The new space boasts six individual treatment rooms, two triage rooms and a new nurses station. Earl Sheehy, chief executive officer and administrator of the hospital, said the new ER is part of a $7 million project to upgrade a portion ofthe hospitals facilities. With 8,000 square feet for the new facility, the key word in the minds of the ER staff is privacy.

The complete story is in the Friday, July 7, 2017 Richmond News.

Click here for our E-edition and read the rest of the story.

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Rogersville man who pulled knife in emergency room disarmed at gunpoint – Kingsport Times News

RPD Detective Travis Fields said Jessie Darnell Rawlings never pointed the knife at nurses or doctors, nor did anyone in the E.R. during the incident feel as if they were being held against their will.

In fact, nurses indicated they were more concerned about Rawlings injuring himself.

However, Rawlings refused to drop the knife even after police arrived and drew their weapons. Fields said it took officers several minutes to talk him into dropping the knife.

Rawlings, 60, 346 Kite Road, Rogersville, initially went to the E.R. for mental issues following a domestic incident.

Shortly after 8 a.m., RPD officers Andy Banks and Joey Maddox responded to the hospital, where they found Rawlings standing at the nurses station holding an open pocket knife behind his back.

Upon speaking to Mr. Rawlings, I observed him to be unsteady on his feet and have the smell of alcohol about his breath and person, Banks stated in his report. There were two nurses and a doctor present in the nurse station during this time, and they were also telling him prior to our arrival to put the knife down, without success.

Officers eventually convinced Rawlings to drop the knife, at which time he was arrested and charged with public intoxication and disorderly conduct.

Fields said officers chose not to charge Rawlings with more serious charges such as felony aggravated assault because he didnt actually threaten anyone or prevent anyone from leaving.

Rawlings was arraigned Wednesday in Hawkins County Sessions Court and remained held in the Hawkins County Jail on $1,061 bond pending his next court appearance set for July 10.

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Fourth of July tales from the emergency room – ABC News – ABC News

Summer is in full force by the time Fourth of July weekend rolls around every year — and so are the opportunities to injure oneself.

Doctors who have worked in the emergency room during the holiday weekend told ABC News that they often see the same types of incidents every Independence Day, including sunburns, poison ivy rashes, underage drinking and fireworks injuries.

But that doesn’t mean they haven’t treated some out-of-the-ordinary cases as well.

Here are some Fourth of July tales from the emergency room:

Jamie Coleman, a trauma surgeon at Indiana University Health Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis, said the bomb squad had to be called in for one of the “craziest” cases she’s ever seen, which happened on a Fourth of July weekend.

The incident involved fireworks that were the largest consumers in Indiana could buy without needing a license, Coleman said.

While the firework was being lit at a backyard party, one of the explosive mechanisms — a metal ball about four inches in diameter — misfired, Coleman said. Instead of launching the firework into the air, the metal ball came out of the side of the firework and became lodged inside the patient, she said.

Since the explosive did not detonate, it still had the potential to explode, and the bomb squad had to be present during the man’s emergency surgery to remove it, Coleman said.

“They’re there to protect it and ensure that it doesn’t go off once they’ve removed it, ensuring the safety of everyone in the operating room,” Coleman said of the bomb squad’s role.

As soon as the explosive device was removed from the man’s body, doctors “very carefully” handed it to the bomb squad, who then disposed of it safely, Coleman said.

“This stuff is so crazy sometimes — what we do and see,” Coleman said. “You just can’t even make it up.”

A couple of years ago, a Fourth of July prank lead to a trip to the emergency room for a group of teenagers in New York City, said Robert Glatter, an emergency physician at Lenox Hill Hospital on the Upper East Side.

During a party, the teens adorned a cake — which was decorated festively for Independence Day — with sparklers. But, one of the sparklers was actually a firecracker, Glatter said.

After the blast, the group took an Uber to the emergency room, where they were treated for minor injuries such as facial abrasions and a ruptured eardrum, Glatter said.

When the teens arrived at the hospital, they were covered in cake and red, white and blue icing, because they didn’t think to stop and wipe it off before they left, Glatter said.

None of the teens suffered eye injuries, since they were already wearing goggles so they could spray champagne on each other, Glatter said. Eye injuries are typical in accidents involving firecrackers, Glatter said.

The blast effect from the firecracker was probably lessened since it was lit outdoors, Glatter said. Had it exploded inside, the pressure from the blast effect could have led to more serious injuries such as ruptured bowels or a collapsed lung, he said.

Last year, a teen about 14 years old had to be medically evacuated from northern Michigan to Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grant Rapids after he fell into a campfire, said Erica Michiels, associate director for the hospital’s pediatric emergency department.

First responders had initially reported to doctors that the teen was “burned black” and sustained surface burns to more than 30 percent of his body, causing his family and emergency physicians to fear the worst, Michiels said.

When the boy arrived, “he had soot all the way up to his waist,” Michiels said. Hospital staff got him to the emergency room to wash him off and to better see the burns, but they weren’t there.

The teen merely had one burn the size of the palm of his hand near his ankle, Michiels said.

“The rest was just soot from falling into the fire,” she said.

The boy’s parents may have over-inflated the sense of danger because he was “screaming and yelling and floundering around” after he fell into the campfire, Michiels said.

“I think his anxiety was contagious and made everyone think … he must be really, really injured,” she said.

The boy’s family and the healthcare professionals looking after him were all “relieved” when they realized his injuries weren’t so serious, Michiels said, adding that the medical staff “learned a lesson” that day to not get too carried away before they have a full understanding of the patient’s injuries.

Michiels saw another incident last year in which parents panicked a bit too prematurely.

A “terrified” mother brought her infant into the emergency room the day after Independence Day because she thought the baby had contracted “some sort of horrible infection,” Michiels said.

The cause for concern: bright blue poop.

The mother brought doctors the baby’s diaper in a Ziploc bag, and when they opened it, the “sweet, fruity smell” was “overwhelming,” Michiels said.

The family had been at a picnic the day before, where someone had brought a big bowl of blueberries, which the baby had never had before, she said. The infant “loved” the fruit and ended up eating a handful.

“When babies eat fruit, it passes through their system fairly quickly,” Michiels said. “You wind up with this sweet-smelling, dark-colored poop.”

Michiels said parents should only be worried if poop is white, black or red.

“All other shades of poop are usually OK,” she said.

Fireworks are best left to professionals, Coleman said, adding that every year she amputates fingers due to fireworks accidents.

Even the most seemingly innocuous items, such as sparklers, are a cause for concern, Coleman said. Sparklers can reach up to 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit, and physicians see sparkler burns almost every Fourth of July, Michiels said.

“Just the quickest touch to a child’s hand will give them a pretty significant burn,” Michiels said.

Glatter advised that people celebrating watch the amount of alcohol they imbibe, which, combined with setting fireworks off or swimming, could be a “perfect recipe for disaster,” he said.

Another safety concern to keep in mind is monitoring children near water at all times, Michiels said, adding that every Fourth of July, she tends to see at least one patient who has drowned.

During a pool party or beach outing, there are usually several adults around but not one particular person who is looking after the kids, she said.

“We often see a drowning event of a child where there were many, many adults right in the vicinity who could have rescued that child had they known the child was in trouble,” she said.

Michiels said a common misconception is that if you don’t hear anyone yelling for help, everything is fine.

“In truth, drowning is almost always a silent event,” she said. “You can’t hear someone calling for help because the person who is floundering is doing everything they can to get that breath in. They don’t have that extra energy to call out for help.”

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Thomas Memorial to crack down on emergency room admissions … – The Exponent Telegram (press release) (registration)

Beginning in July, officials at Thomas Memorial Hospital in South Charleston will be changing the rules for admission to try to discourage patients from going to the emergency room for non-emergencies.

We have a tremendous number of people who seek care in our emergency room on a regular basis, said Dan Lauffer, CEO of Thomas Health System. But he said many of them dont have to go to the emergency room, and many would be better served by going to a health clinic, urgent care center or to their regular doctor.

According to Lauffer, about 35,000 people a year visit Thomas Memorials emergency room. But between 30 and 40 percent of those patients arent really experiencing a medical emergency and would be better served by visiting a health clinic, urgent care or doctor.

Lauffer said patients at the emergency room who dont have real medical emergencies jam up the system and create longer wait times for everyone. So, during July and August the hospital will put into place new patient policies designed to discourage those without medical emergencies from going to the emergency room, and encourage them to seek other forms of care.

To begin with, Lauffer said those coming to the emergency room with non-medical emergencies will be asked to pay a co-pay before they will be seen. Thomas ER co-pays begin at $8 for Medicaid patients and go up from there based on a patients insurance coverage.

Lauffer said emergency room visits are about four times as expensive as other medical services, and wait times tend to be much longer before patients can see a doctor. Co-pays for emergency room visits also tend to be higher than co-pays at clinics, urgent care centers and doctors offices.

Visiting a doctor or a clinic before an emergency occurs is also better for a patients overall health, Lauffer said. Routine follow-up care with a doctor is better for your health than episodic visits to the emergency room, he said.

Regular medical care is also usually cheaper than relying on the emergency room, he said. Were also concerned about their financial health, Lauffer said.

In addition to being asked to pay co-pays up front, Lauffer said patients coming to the emergency room without a real emergency will be given a choice about how they would like to be seen. He said patients will be told they can go to Thomas nearby medical clinic and be seen in the order they arrived, or they can remain in the emergency room but be bumped toward the bottom of the list to be seen in the order of the severity of their injuries.

Thomas staff will be telling patients about the new rules during July and August.

Thomas said many patients are just so used to going to the emergency room for every medical issue they may have that they dont give it a second thought. He said education is the key to breaking the emergency room cycle.

If we dont communicate and educate, the cycle will never change, he said. Once patients are told there may be better, cheaper ways to seek health care than the emergency room, They will begin to understand that they dont have to come into the emergency room for every problem they present with.

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Emergency room | Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin

If your child is experiencing a medical emergency, call 911 for help now!

Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin is a Level I pediatric trauma center, providing the best care to all injured kids. The American College of Surgeons only grants Level I verification to hospitals that provide the highest quality of care and deliver injury prevention, research and education programs to professionals and the public.

The American College of Surgeons, in making the announcement, commended Children’s Hospital on its continued commitment to provide quality care to all of its trauma patients.

Verified trauma centers must meet certain criteria. Key elements of a Level I Trauma Center status include:

Some facts and figures:

A co-payment will be collected at the time of service.

We care for more injured kids than any otherhospital in Wisconsin – from simple cuts and broken bones tocomplicated, life-threatening injuries. We see more than 60,000patients in our Emergency Room/Trauma Center every year. Of those visits, more than 10,000 are for trauma and we admitapproximately 1,000 of those patients to the hospital.

Injuries we see are a result of things such as:

The trauma team in the ERtreat the most critically injured patients 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We respond to care for the child’s immediate crisis. A pediatric trauma surgeon leads the team that includes pediatric nurses and physicians from the Emergency Room, critical care,transport teamand operating room.Children’s Hospital has a surgeon on call 24/7 to consult with care providers at other hospitals.

Other team members includepediatric anesthesiologists, respiratory care practitioners, pharmacists, social workers, lab technicians, radiology technicians and security officers.

The trauma medical director, an advanced practice nurse and quality improvement nurse monitor care of every injured patient. They discuss all the critical issues with the care team and refer patients to a trauma physician or a trauma committee made up of experts from multiple specialties to review and identify opportunities for improvement.

The Children’s Hospital trauma program follows protocols developed to minimize radiation in injured children. We monitor the use of the protocols and have decreased the number of CT scans performed in children brought directly to Children’s Hospital from the scene of injury by 10 percent in two years. In two years, we have increased adherence to guidelines by 31 percent. CT scans are performed according to our guidelines in 97 percent of patients brought to Children’s Hospital directly from the scene of injury. If your child requires imaging tests likeX-raysor aCT scan, we make sure your child is exposed to the smallest amount ofradiation as possible.

We have the latest technology and equipment to offer the lowest doses of radiation. We shield and protect sensitive body parts from radiation. We check dose levels on equipment before each scan and inspect dose reports every month. Physicists adjust our equipment every year.

If you want your child treated at Children’s Hospital, ask your local hospital to transfer him or her before any non-urgent diagnostic care is provided.

Learn more about ourImaging Department.

More than 95 percent of pediatric spleen, liver and kidney injuries resulting from trauma can be treated successfully without going to the operating room. Children’s Hospital meets or exceeds this benchmark. In fact, 95 percent of spleen injuries, 99 percent of liver injuries, and 100 percent of renal injuries are treated successfullywithout surgery.

The Children’s Hospital trauma team is concerned about the entire well-being of your child. A child can have emotional trauma or acute stress symptoms from any injury. We screen injured children for possible stress symptoms and teach you what to watch for at home. We offer psychology intervention as needed.

We know that drug or alcohol use can increase the potential for injury. We screen your child for the risk for drug or alcohol use. Understanding that peer pressure pushes many children to use drugs or alcohol, we provide a brief motivational intervention to help them say “no.”

Our Trauma Center staff works closely with Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin Community Health – the lead agency forSafe Kids Wisconsin. We also work closely with theInjury Free Coalition for Kids.

We help reduce the cycle of violence through Project Ujima, which focuses on breaking the cycle of violence by reducing the number of repeat victims.

Transport Team Each year, our Transport Team brings more than 1,000 critically ill or injured children to Children’s Hospital by ambulance, helicopter and fixed-wing plane. Read more>>

Urgent care Children’s urgent care sites are the area’s only walk-in clinics just for kids. The urgent care clinics are open nights and weekends when regular doctors offices are closed. Appointments never are needed. Read more.

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Emergency room | Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin

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Capital Regional Medical Center to Build Two Freestanding Emergency Rooms – WFSU

Tallahassee is getting two new freestanding emergency rooms. Capital Regional Medical Centers new facilities will serve the northwest and southeast parts of town.

Capital Regional CEO Mark Robinson says the 11,000 square foot ERs will be open around the clock.

(It’s) a freestanding ER model that includes 12 beds, has all the capabilities of an ER thats connected to a hospital, it just doesnt have the hospital connected to it, he said.

One of the new ERs will be just past I-10 on North Monroe, the other at Capital Circle and Orange Avenue near Southwood. Robinson says theres still a bit of due diligence to be done on those building sites.

One that due diligence is done and once we put a shovel in the ground itll be ten months from then, so Id expected probably the end of third quarter, 2018.

Capital Regional already has one remote emergency room at the old Gadsden Memorial Hospital. Tallahassee Memorial Hospital opened its freestanding ER at Thomasville Road and I-10 about 4 years ago.

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Capital Regional Medical Center to Build Two Freestanding Emergency Rooms – WFSU

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