Upgrades at Emergency Departments

Pennsylvania’s Acting Secretary of Health, Keara Klinepeter recently outlined guidelines to allow hospitals to implement care delivery models to increase patient access to care.

The goal is to increase access to high quality care in areas that may be medically underserved. The new care delivery model includes the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center’s (UPMC) https://www.upmc.com launch of their first Tele-Emergency Department (Tele-ED) in Pennsylvania at UPMC Kane in McKean County.

The Tele-ED is an acute care or critical access hospital that is staffed by Advanced Practice Providers 24/7 with a physician available at all times through telecommunications but not physically present in the ED.

UPMC Kane https://www.kane.com is an acute care hospital located in a remote rural community averaging daily inpatient of five to six hospitalized patients and about 6,000 total emergency department visits each year.

UPMC Kane is partnering with UPMC Hamot in Erie to create an emergency medicine collaboration using advanced telemedicine technology. Board certified emergency medicine physicians located at UPMC Hamot in Erie, are partnering with on-site trained advanced practice providers at UPMC Kane, 24/7.

UPMC Hamot is the advanced tertiary care regional hub for UPMC in Northwest Pennsylvania and Southwest N.Y caring for nearly 70,000 patients in the ED annually. UPMC Hamot provides high level specialized care and is a Level II trauma center, the only accredited trauma center in the Erie region.

AHN Westfield Memorial Hospital https://www.ahn.org/locations/hospitals/westfield-memorial has access to specialized medical care through their new tele-hospitalist program. The program started in January 2022 through a partnership with Equum Medical, uses state of the art telecommunication technology and remote patient monitoring.

AHN Westfield’s recently established a tele-stroke program connects emergency department physicians and a stroke neurologist 24/7 to help diagnose and manage patients experiencing a stroke and administers life-saving clot busting medications. The Telestroke and Virtual Hospitalist programs at AHN Westfield are supported in part by a rural telemedicine grant awarded by HRSA through their Telehealth Network Grant.

Also in the news, the Ellis Hospital Emergency Room https://ellismedicine.org in Schenectady county, is the first in the U.S. to earn the Certified Autism Center™ designation. Today, the staff is trained and certified to accommodate patients with sensory needs, such as Autism.

Being certified enables the Emergency Room to provide sensory toolkits at the nurse’s stations who many need calming tools. In addition, a mobile low-sensory area is available to assist patients who become overwhelmed.

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