MUSC Health opens specialist emergency department to streamline care | MUSK
A new Emergency Department (ED) at MUSC Health on the Charleston Peninsula provides a more streamlined and efficient process for patients with the same high level of care as the original University Hospital ED.
In fact, the department isn’t entirely new – when Ashley River Tower on Courtenay Drive opened in 2008, it included the Chest Pain Center for cardiac emergencies. But that center has since evolved into a multi-purpose emergency department, and as the healthcare system’s footprint on the peninsula has grown and changed, it has made sense to refer patients to emergency departments. MUSC Health based on where they are most likely to receive ongoing care. care.
In other words, given that heart, vascular and gastrointestinal specialists work from ART, it makes sense that patients with emergencies in these categories would come to the new ward. specialized and feminine emergency which is located right there in the same building. And because ART is air-connected to MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital and Pearl Tourville Women’s Pavilion, it makes sense for women with gynecological emergencies or who are less than 20 weeks pregnant to seek care nearby at ART. .
But don’t worry, said Cynthia Oliva, MD, assistant medical director of adult emergency services at the Charleston campus. Patients will receive excellent care whether they arrive at the University Hospital Emergency Department on Jonathan Lucas Street or two blocks from the Women’s Specialty and Emergency Department on Courtenay.
“Both emergency departments are here for full acute care, and we can handle any emergency at both,” she said. “We just have this ED specialty because it brings all the care to the patient a little bit more efficiently and in a faster way because the staff, the pathways – it’s all there for those specialty conditions.”
So if the ER doctor wants a consultation from a gastrointestinal, vascular, or cardiac specialist, she says, “they’re just one floor up, as opposed to two streets up.”
ER doctors alternate between the two buildings, so they are all familiar with the layout and nursing staff at each site.
Most patients will not need to remember which building to go to, as most patients are brought by ambulance. EMS drivers call in a central dispatcher from MUSC Health, who then directs them where to go – although most drivers already have a good idea of which emergency service will be right for their patients.
David Soper, MD, senior medical director for women’s health, said this division should provide a better experience for patients.
During normal business hours, pregnant women should call their doctor’s office first if anything is wrong, he said. The OB-GYN office will be able to get them in quickly and have them checked out.
After hours, expectant mothers who are over 20 weeks pregnant should head for labor and delivery at Pearl Tourville. Women under 20 weeks should go to the ART Women’s Specialty and Emergency Department, where they can be seen by emergency physicians who can attend to them without being called to attend. of patients in labor at term, Soper said.
Yet a woman in labor who presents to the emergency room at the place of labor and delivery will be well cared for. It happens about once a week, Oliva said.
Most of the time, you have plenty of time to perform a medical and stabilization, alert the OB team, and arrange a transfer. But the ER team certainly delivered babies, she said. The emergency room has all the necessary equipment, including a baby warmer, and its doctors are certified in neonatal resuscitation.
In addition, most cancer patients with an emergency should also visit the new specialty and women’s emergency. As is the case with cardiac, vascular and gastrointestinal specialists, most oncologists work outside ART and therefore their emergency patients must go to the emergency department housed there.
The exception for cancer patients is for gynecological cancer patients. Oliva said the decision was made to keep these patients in the University Hospital emergency room so they are closer to the specialized operating rooms and equipment that are often needed in these cases. There is also a gynecology resident on site 24/7 at the University Hospital, she said.
But Oliva stressed that patients will receive top-notch care even if they don’t know where to go.
“We have access to all of MUSC’s resources no matter where you go,” she said.
“Either way, you will receive excellent care in a timely manner.”