Non-emergency care offered at emergency room

Non-emergency care offered at emergency room

Nurse Practioner Amanda Keipper, right, examines a woman Thursday in Express Care at the Fayette Regional Health System emergency room.

By DARRELL SMITH – dsmith@newsexaminer.com

Residents with a non-emergency medical issue in the late afternoon and evening have another place to go for treatment: right next to the Fayette Regional Health System emergency room.

Express Care service began operating May 1. It is in a room within the hospital’s emergency room and has its own nurse practioner. It provides care similar to the Immediate Care and Walk-in Clinic but has later hours and includes direct access to ER services.

Express Care is open from 3-10 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The Immediate Care Clinic, north of the main hospital building, stays busy during the day. Still, many people come to the ER, especially after hours, said Amanda Keipper, Express Care’s nurse practioner.

“A lot of times there are emergencies and, of course, the priority is for them to be taken care of first,” Keipper said. “But to give other patients what they need, we thought we’d start this program where I would see some of those patients that maybe don’t have serious problems … in order to get them in and out in a timely manner and not have to wait when the doctors are busy. So far it’s worked out pretty well.”

Since the opening, the staff in the emergency room has been working out a few kinks but patients are getting in and out more quickly, she said.

“We just had a little girl with a sore throat, she was probably here for 20 minutes,” she said on Thursday.

When someone comes into the emergency room, a triage nurse will assess the patient. Depending on the severity of the case, the patient may go to Express Care.

“Once the patient gets back there, if we find out they need to be seen by the ER doctor, then we can switch them over easily,” Keipper said. “If it’s a matter that they went to the ER side first and maybe when the doctor gets into the story, they can be seen by me, we’re pretty flexible that way.”

Patients in Express Care have access to same x-ray and lab services as emergency room patients.

The emergency room doctor is also available to consult with Keipper. The doctor can come look at the patient and go over the plan of care, she said.

This will help relieve that non-emergency type cases, said Gail Marcum, registered nurse.

Patients who show up before 3 p.m., will be seen by the emergency room doctor will see them. They also have the option to go to Immediate Care at 2025 Virginia Ave., which is open until 6 p.m.

Marcum said the hospital did a study which found the hours of 3-10 p.m. had the most emergency room traffic. Express Care will help patients get them in and out in a more timely manner. Immediate Care is also open some of that time.

Since opening, approximately 175 patients have been seen through the new service, Keipper said.