When a patient is stricken with a sudden health issue, recommending a visit to the emergency department is often the quickest way to ensure a patient receives effective treatment as soon as possible. And for Americans, emergency department visits tally up to more than 136 million annually. For residents of Lexington and surrounding areas, KentuckyOne Health facilities provide numerous emergency department options to meet any urgent healthcare need a patient may face.
Saint Joseph Hospital was the first hospital in the Lexington area when it opened in 1877. The facility has continued to treat a high volume of patients in the area since its move to the current location on Harrodsburg Road in 1957. With the addition of Saint Joseph East to the system in 1998 and the construction of Saint Joseph Jessamine in 2009, the system has become the most robust in the area.
Last year, the facilities’ emergency departments treated nearly 109,000 patients, more than any other hospital system in the Lexington area. With Kentucky’s statistically unhealthy population, these facilities are expecting to treat even more patients in 2013.
Expanding and Remodeling to Meet Increased Demand
To meet growing demand, the emergency departments at both Saint Joseph Hospital and Saint Joseph East have been renovated within the last two years. Most features of the renovations were aimed at accommodating an increased number of patients, as well as creating a more modern work flow, allowing physicians and nurses to manage care in the most efficient ways possible.
“Before the renovation, we had one central nursing station in the emergency department. Now, we have two stations, allowing nurses to be closer to patients, while monitoring them remotely through updated equipment,” said Steven Stack, M.D., former emergency department chair, Saint Joseph East. “The new layout ensures that we’re able to treat patients quickly and effectively.”
The renovation also allowed for new, state-of-the-art equipment like the most recent Phillips GE Central monitoring system, a track based space efficient supply storage system and pneumatic tubes to send laboratory specimens. The renovation also lead to the creation of six oversized rooms, which allow for procedural care.
“The improved layout has allowed us to treat our patients in a more timely manner, in turn, reducing our average length of stay to well below the national average, which falls around 2.5 hours,” Stack added.
Saint Joseph Hospital also saw increased efficiency after a renovation that took the facility from a 20-bed to a 35-bed facility, in order to meet a growing need for emergency department services. Saint Joseph Hospital continues to see the highest volume of patients within the system.
“Physicians recommend us to patients often because they know we work to find answers quickly,” said Barry Parsley, M.D., who is board certified in emergency medicine and serves as Medical Director for Saint Joseph Hospital and Saint Joseph Jessamine-Emergency Department. “For anything that could be remotely serious, we are often able to extensively evaluate a patient quickly, including performing needed lab work and diagnostic imaging.”
“We’re dedicated to providing prompt, efficient care that’s respectful of patients’ time, all while providing the highest quality of care. We consistently rank above the 90th percentile in patient satisfaction, and we believe that is a result of the compassionate care we provide,” said Stack.
Not only can patients anticipate quick, effective care, they’ve come to expect quality, too. The entire staff of physicians at Saint Joseph East and Saint Joseph Hospital is board certified in emergency medicine. The nursing staff includes certified emergency nurses. In addition, the entire nursing staff holds certification in Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS), as well as trauma nursing and emergency pediatric nursing.
Saint Joseph Jessamine RJ Corman Ambulatory Care Center Provides Top-Notch Care Closer to Home
Saint Joseph Jessamine opened in 2009 as Jessamine County’s first and only full-service, 24/7 emergency department. The facility provides emergency care, diagnostic imaging, lab services, rehab services and several physician practices. With 29 stoplights separating Saint Joseph Jessamine and the nearest Lexington hospital, this facility means that residents are able to get high-quality, emergent care close to home.
“Currently, we are able to treat and release 95–96 percent of patients we receive at Saint Joseph Jessamine,” said Dan Andrews, MBA, RN, CEN, manager of Emergency Department and Operations at Saint Joseph Jessamine. “We’re averaging well below the benchmark of door to provider times of 30 minutes or less, meaning that we are fully equipped to see and treat the majority of our patients quickly.”
Not only are these patients being seen quickly, Saint Joseph Jessamine regularly achieves patient satisfaction scores above the 90th percentile.
Dr. Parsley was among the team responsible for developing Saint Joseph Jessamine.
He has been with the Saint Joseph organization for more than 35 years and was among the first to staff emergency departments with primarily board certified physicians.
“Because we were able to build this facility from the ground up, we were able to put incredible focus on making it the most efficient facility possible. With lab, x-ray and other diagnostic services readily available, this facility can provide nearly the same complete level of care as a full hospital facility,” said Parsley.
While Saint Joseph Jessamine primarily services Jessamine County, patients also come from Garrard County, southern Fayette County and nearby Woodford County.
“We like to say that we’re able to provide big city healthcare in the small town,” said Andrews.
Saint Joseph Jessamine works closely with Jessamine County EMS to identify patients that are best served by the facility and which more acute cases should be passed along to one of the more robust facilities in nearby Lexington. Saint Joseph Jessamine will occasionally take in patients presenting with severe symptoms to be stabilized before transport to a larger facility.
For most cases, however, Saint Joseph Jessamine and its staff of board certified emergency physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners and RNs are able to fully treat patients on site, providing the same level of quality care as a full hospital.
“We pride ourselves on providing top-notch care that’s close to patients homes,” added Andrews.
Of the facilities, Saint Joseph Hospital and Saint Joseph East are both Accredited Chest Pain Centers from the Society of Chest Pain Centers. Saint Joseph Jessamine will seek accreditation this year, expected to be among the first standalone emergency facilities to receive such accreditation.
“People generally assume that they will receive quality care when visiting an emergency department. What sets the Saint Joseph System apart is our compassion, our interest in patient well being, and our consistently demonstrated genuine concern—these things have been key to our success and growth as an organization,” said Stack.
LAST YEAR, SAINT JOSEPH’S EMERGENCY DEPARTMENTS TREATED NEARLY 109,000 PATIENTS, MORE THAN ANY OTHER HOSPITAL SYSTEM IN THE LEXINGTON AREA.