Emergency Medicine at Newton-Wellesley Hospital
The Emergency Department (ED) at Newton-Wellesley Hospital continues to be a busy place! Since opening a new, state-of-the-art facility in 2007, the volume at the ED has steadily increased.
Growth of the ED
“Our ED is a vital asset to our community and the surrounding region as annual visits to have grown steadily from 51,000 in 2006 to a projected 62,000 in 2011,” says Mark Lemons, MD, Chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine at Newton-Wellesley. “There are many factors that contribute to the growth in emergency department volume – an increase that can be seen nationwide. The population, including the baby boomer generation, is getting older and using emergency medicine to treat illnesses. We are living in a fast paced world – emergency departments are becoming diagnostic centers where patients come seeking quick answers.”
The Emergency Department includes 36 treatment bays in 35,000 square feet of space with both adult and pediatric trauma rooms. This includes a separate eight-bed pediatric emergency area staffed by fellowship-trained pediatric emergency specialists.
“Our pediatric ED is staffed by nurses dedicated to pediatric emergency medicine and pediatric emergency physicians with subspecialty board certification in pediatric emergency medicine,” says Dr. Lemons.
The pediatric ED also has child life specialists committed to the psychosocial care of children and families and helping them understand the hospital environment.
“The Emergency Department was designed with a focus on patient-centered care,” says Dr. Lemons. “We provide patients with the most comfortable environment for quality treatment including everything from mobile equipment that minimizes patient transfers to various departments during their visit to televisions in each room.”
Each treatment room is equipped with the latest cardiac and vital sign monitoring technology and computer workstations containing the newest version of emergency department documentation software. This allows caregivers to maintain electronic patient records without having to leave the patient’s bedside. This paperless documentation system virtually eliminates the need for written charts, reduces error and provides a smoother transition for patients during their Emergency Department experience. The electronic medical records allow physicians and specialists outside the Emergency Department to have secure access to their patient’s records, which enhances continuity of care.
Electronic Medical Records
“The electronic medical record has brought valuable patient information to the fingertips of the emergency care providers,” adds Dr Lemons. “We now can look up immunizations, previous image results, stress tests and even primary care physician notes while providing patient care.”
Newton-Wellesley is also using technology to make visits to the ED even more convenient for patients by posting wait times online at www.nwh.org. The ED wait time on Newton-Wellesley’s home page is updated every five minutes for real-time reporting.
“Our team works hard to provide exceptional patient care,” says Dr. Lemons. “Part of this care is sharing approximate wait times with our patients before they even arrive at the ED. Once they are here, we strive to keep patients informed of the tests they will need and how long it will take for results.”
Online Wait Times
The Hospital also recently launched a new iPhone application. The Newton-Wellesley Wait Time iPhone Application was approved by Apple and is available in the iTunes App Store as a free download. The application features real-time reporting of Emergency Department wait times, integrated directions to the ED, pre-registration for other Hospital services and physician profiles including contact information. Newton-Wellesley is one of only a few hospitals in the Northeast to offer this complimentary service.
“These technological advancements improve patient access to the Hospital,” says Dr. Lemons. “Our patients are technologically savvy and we needed to provide convenient mobile applications such as the ED wait time, mobile Web site and iPhone app to accommodate their needs.”
Newton-Wellesley is now able to show the efficiency and speed of care delivery to patients who choose the Hospital for their medical services. Wait time reporting allows patients access to information that will help them better gauge how long their hospital visit will take. These technological advances further enhance the high quality care that patients receive when they visit the Emergency Department.
“We want to give our patients the best and most efficient service possible,” says Dr. Lemons. “By housing diagnostic testing equipment within the department, we are able to accommodate their needs without moving them to another area of the Hospital. This creates a more seamless emergency room visit for patients and opens up the equipment within the Hospital for our inpatients.”
To provide critical diagnostic information in a shorter amount of time, the Emergency Department is outfitted with its own Radiology Imaging Suite, which includes two digital X-Ray rooms and a 64-slice CT scanner as well as an adjacent specialized OB/GYN room with ultrasound scanning capabilities. Patients arriving at the ED will also find many conveniences and elements to better protect their privacy such as a private rooms and a more secluded triage area used to assess their condition and determine the steps for appropriate care.
“We are also beginning to look into bedside triage – a concept that has been successfully implemented with high favor by many other EDs around the country,” says Dr. Lemons.
“Bedside triage gets patients back into the treatment area sooner as patient care begins first and then insurance and information gathering occurs at some point during the care process.” If implemented, bedside triage could consistently reduce wait time in the ED to less than a 30-minute average wait time with 95 percent of patients being seen in less than one hour from arrival. The ED team is also working with inpatient departments within the Hospital to create a seamless and efficient process when patients are admitted.
“We are constantly looking for ways to improve and enhance the patient experience when they come to our Emergency Department,” says Dr. Lemons. “We will continue to use advances in technology to provide the highest quality care to our patients – before, during and after their visit to our ED.”
Pediatric Emergency Department
To care for children in a comfortable environment – close to home – Newton-Wellesley provides dedicated pediatric emergency services in a community hospital setting. Through a collaboration with MassGeneral Hospital for Children, the Hospital offers advanced services in a separate area within the Emergency Department designated for pediatric patients.
“Our Pediatric Emergency Department is staffed by full-time, pediatric-dedicated physicians with additional training and experience in pediatric emergency medicine. These physicians are on site 16 hours a day. Our general emergency physicians are available 24 hours per day in the ED,” says Mary Christine Bailey, MD, Chief of Pediatric Emergency Medicine at Newton-Wellesley. “We’ve gone to great lengths to create a high-quality, child-friendly facility so families feel calm, safe and secure when they have to make a trip to our Emergency Department.”
For more information about Emergency Medicine at Newton-Wellesley Hospital, please call CareFinder at 1-866-NWH-DOCS (694-3627) or visit www.nwh.org/emergency.
Mary Christine Bailey, MD
Chief of Pediatric Emergency Medicine
Dr. Bailey is board certified in pediatric emergency medicine. She received her medical degree and completed her internship and residency at Oregon Health Sciences University. She completed her fellowship in pediatric emergency medicine at Boston Medical Center.
Mark Lemons, MD
Chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine
Dr. Lemons is board certified in emergency medicine. He received his medical degree from the Medical College of Wisconsin. He completed his internship and emergency medicine residency at Worcester City Hospital.
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