The Role Of Emergency Medicine
In any hospital, interconnected teams of experts and professionals work diligently to save lives, prolong lives and improve the quality of people's lives. To this end, the Department of Emergency Medicine is a perfect example of how this important life-saving work is carried out.
Today, the Trinitas Regional Medical Center ER is a state-of-the-art facility that recently underwent an $18.7 million renovation that nearly doubled the number of treatment beds from 27 to 45. Care is now delivered in highly personalized areas that address the needs of families, seniors and behavioral patients. Also included in the project is a 128-slice CT scanner and onsite ultrasound suite that speed the delivery of care and provide more detailed diagnosis.
A designated Chest Pain Center, the ER is often the front door for many patients who experience superior care through the services of our Cardiology Center of Excellence.
Unlike many hospitals, Trinitas Regional Medical Center is a full-service institution. As such, we are fully-equipped and staffed to provide a complete range of services to those in need of general as well as specialized services such as pediatric or obstetric care.
"Our ultimate goal is to get patients in and out of our department as quickly, and as efficiently, as possible," explained John D'Angelo, DO, Chairman Emergency Medicine at Trinitas. "We assess patients, stabilize them, and get them where they need to go. In many cases we can diagnose, treat and send the patient home, but in other cases, we have a person with major trauma who needs extensive intervention before we can send them for surgery, intensive care or perhaps cardiac care."
For many who have a perception of an Emergency Room with extremely long waiting times, Trinitas has put forth a major effort to dispel that notion in patients' minds. "We have computerized our entire Emergency Services operations, and we constantly monitor how long it takes a person to be seen once they arrive in our Waiting Area, how long it takes them to receive care, and where they go once they leave our department," says D'Angelo.
"This type of data analysis happens in the background. In the foreground, the teams who work 24/7 are constantly challenged by the nature and variety of needs patients present to them on a daily basis. "You never know what's going to happen next," says Anata Kanevsky, DNP, BSN, MA, Director of Emergency Medicine. "Just when you think everything's under control and you can take a deep breath, someone else is brought in and everyone is put to the test again. I think that it's this sense of challenge that keeps everyone motivated and working as a team."
Speeding Your Way
The staff of the Emergency Department makes every effort to furnish timely diagnosis and treatment. "We provide bedside registration, which saves time for many patients. Most lab results are transmitted to us within 20 minutes of testing. We have x-ray facilities in the ER for faster, or immediate, response," explained Dr. Kanevsky, who added, "88% of all patients are ultimately discharged, and average time in/out is less than 2:30, which is faster than the average for similar facilities in our area."
One of the things that patients in the Waiting Room may not notice is that many seriously injured and ill patients are often brought in to the ER via ambulances in the back of the Department. "Many people think everyone walks in to our department through the front door, when, in fact, at the same time, others are wheeled in on stretchers through our back doors," says D'Angelo. "This is one of the things that, at times, creates the misconception that people in the Waiting Room are not being tended to in an orderly manner."
The concept of triage is something that Dr. D'Angelo would like patients to know more about. "There are various levels of injury and illness that have been universally identified," he says. "Someone who is bleeding profusely and in obvious, acute pain needs immediate attention and must be stabilized immediately to prevent them from bleeding to death. Another person may come in with a broken wrist and, depending on what other acute patients we're treating, that person might wait longer in that scenario than they might if we didn't have any acute patients to tend to."
Triage is a concept that is also used by the military to assess and treat soldiers on the battlefield. "While many patients are not in life-threatening situations, to them, their illness or injury is extremely important. We understand and recognize this fact, and we strive to assess and treat them as soon as humanly possible. The fact is that, depending on the other situations we're dealing with at any given point in time, the amount of time it takes to get that person in and out of our department can vary in terms of time."
Mobile Intensive Care
Often, your assessment and treatment begins in your home, or in your car or wherever you find yourself in need of immediate, urgent medical care. That's where our Mobile Intensive Care Unit, working in concert with local medical ambulance services, begins stabilization and immediate treatment. "If you're having a heart attack, we have an immediate course of treatment that begins at the scene," says D'Angelo.
According to D'Angelo, "our MICU units are equipped and staffed to recognize, assess and treat patients who can often be stabilized at the scene or on their way to the hospital. If we begin treatment as soon as possible, many lives can be saved in the process by the initiation of off-site Triage."
For patients in crisis, Trinitas Regional Medical Center maintains a separate Psychiatric Emergency Department at the New Point Campus. A strong Center of Excellence at Trinitas Regional Medical Center, the Department of Behavioral Health and Psychiatry provides full inpatient and outpatient services for children, adults and seniors. Call 908-994-7131 for more information.
In addition to speed, quality of care is of equal importance. "It's not good to be the fastest if the quality of care is sub-standard," says D'Angelo. "Our medical and professional staff is dedicated to their respective professions and, as such, each member of our staff strives to provide excellent care to every patient we encounter."
All of the department's physicians are board certified in either Emergency Medicine or other specialties like Internal Medicine, Pediatrics and/or Obstetrics. There is also an in-house anesthesiologist on staff at all times.
The general public would be amazed to learn the amount of training our doctors and staff have amassed," says D'Angelo. "In addition, we all undergo Continuing Medical Education that enables us to stay ahead of new techniques and trends in patient care. We are extremely proud of the skill, precision and professionalism of our staff."
Trinitas Regional Medical Center oversees the continuing medical education of every member of the staff who deals directly with patients and patient care issues. Through the Trinitas Institute for Healthcare and Community Education, we also provide education and training to members of the general public who are interested in CPR Training, EMT Training, First Aid response and other topics.
Disaster And Emergency Preparedness
A disaster could occur at any given point in time. To prepare for this possibility, Trinitas Regional Medical Center conducts disaster drills and provides emergency preparedness training to all staff members who would be directly involved in treating patients in such an event. For more information on providing your company's employees with this type of training, contact Phil Solomon at 908-994-8257 or click here to email him.