2008-02-01 / Hospital Updates

CentraState adds emergency express service for minor medical problems

The Emergency Department (ED) at CentraState Medical Center, FreeholdTownship,now offers a new service for adults and children with minor medical problems to get treated and discharged as quickly as possible. It's called CentraExpress.This emergency service is open seven days a week from 3-11 p.m.,which is the highest volume time for the ED.The goal is to get patients with minor medical complaints treated and released in 30 minutes when X-rays aren't required. CentraExpress is staffed by a nurse practitioner and emergency technician.

CentraExpress is for patients with conditions such as sore throat, simple rash, grit in the eye,minor finger and toe injuries, as well as sprained ankle, bumps,bruises, and other minor sports injuries.The service was launched in early December on a test basis with adults."We're offering this in time for our busiest season," says Laurie Gambardella, R.N., clinical director, Emergency Services."With a nurse practitioner dedicated for CentraExpress, we're treating and releasing ED patients more quickly."

Upon arrival at the ED,patients are first evaluated by a triage nurse,who determines if the patient's condition is appropriate for CentraExpress.The CentraExpress nurse practitioner reviews all care plans and test results, such as X-rays,with a board-certified ED physician on duty.X-ray readings are performed quickly via the Picture and Archiving Communications System or PACS, a digital records system which was launched at CentraState in 2006. However,patient visits requiring X-rays usually take longer than 30 minutes.

"We've designed a complete system - utilizing a separate team of emergency practitioners whose only concern is to see, treat and release patients with minor complaints," says M. Michael Jones, M.D., chairman, Emergency Services."CentraExpress will be well received by patients and their families."

CentraState's ED features a First Care area for minor injuries, an Acute Care area for life-threatening emergencies such as chest pains and shortness of breath, an Intermediate Care area for everything in between, a mental health assessment and treatment area, and an emergency care area for children. CentraExpress is an even faster service within First Care. Patients evaluated in CentraExpress will be elevated to a higher level of care if necessary.

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