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The New Emergency Department Is Serving the Community Well

We celebrated the grand opening of ER one year ago. We had big goals for this project, and we thought it would be good to share an update on how we’re doing.

Goal #1: Connect patients to primary care.
One of the reasons that people use the Emergency Room for nonemergency services is because
they don’t have a primary care doctor. Our Medical Group has been ramping up in response to this community need. We are connecting approximately 30 patients per month to a primary care physician who can provide ongoing care.

Goal #2: Identify non-emergency needs and connect people to community resources.
Many people come into the ER with a medical need that has become serious due to other complications, such as job loss, homelessness, or not enough money for food and medication. We also see many people with mental health issues. Through partnerships with TCM Counseling and Love in Action (formerly Love INC), we can now connect patients to other services they may need…quickly, effectively and often in real-time. We meet routinely with our collaborating partners to discuss referrals and ensure that patients receive the necessary follow-up.

Goal #3: Reduce wait times.
The national average for ER wait time is almost 20 minutes. We’re consistently beating the national average with dedicated nursing staff who perform immediate triage services. Once in the exam room, we can expedite care with capabilities like in-room x-ray and bedside charting—all made possible through generous philanthropic gifts.

In addition, we have also seen a steady usage increase in our specialty rooms. That includes decontamination/isolation, mental health safety rooms, and our new trauma rooms. We care for an average of six to10 trauma cases per month.

The new ER is healthy and well. We’re using it to keep our community healthy, too. Thank you once again to everyone who made this project possible!

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