The providers at the new Rose Medical Center Stapleton ER in Conservatory Green consider their facility an extension of the Rose Medical Center emergency department (ED). The new freestanding ER simply has a “longer hallway” to the Rose Medical Center, a phrase coined by Dr. Andrew Ziller, medical director of emergency services at Rose.
Ziller described a recent incident where a 25-year-old with abdominal pain arrived at the ER. After an examination and CT scan, he determined it was appendicitis, so Ziller contacted the on-call surgeon at Rose, where the patient was immediately transferred and admitted. “The only difference was the transport,” said Ziller. And transport from the Rose Stapleton ER to Rose Medical Center costs the same as a gurney ride down a hallway—nothing.
The state-of-the-art emergency room on Northfield Blvd. and Wabash St. is staffed around the clock by personnel who also rotate regularly through the ED at Rose. At all times, this includes at least one accredited emergency physician, two registered nurses and a paramedic. More providers are brought on as needed during the busiest periods, which are typically from 4pm to 11pm at this location.
The small but comfortable waiting rooms—separate ones for adult and pediatric patients—are designed more for accompanying families than patients. As soon as possible, Rose moves patients to individual rooms so triage takes place behind the doors, not in the waiting areas, says Steve Forbes, director of emergency services.
The Rose Stapleton ER facility includes two rooms designed specifically for pediatric patients, four “regular” adult rooms and a variety of specialized rooms, including an OB-GYN room with neonatal resuscitation equipment, a decontamination area linked to an isolation room, and, of course, a high-level trauma room with full resuscitation capacity. The trauma room is equipped with a robot-controlled camera that links to Rose specialists in neurology, psychiatry and pediatrics, who can use it to examine patients remotely and advise emergency staff as needed.
Supportive services at the Rose Stapleton ER include a full laboratory, a pharmacy primarily used for on-site services, and advanced radiology. Mary Corcoran, RN, the clinical nurse manager, says the new CT scanner at the Stapleton ER is “better than the one at Rose Hospital,” although she noted that Rose will catch up soon once it is remodeled.
Deciding Where to Go:
Questions in the minds of many consumers are how to decide between urgent care, an emergency room or an emergency department, and whether an ambulance is needed. Providers we spoke with recognized this decision can be a complicated issue, one that might require calls to insurance help lines or primary care providers to sort out. But in terms of the services that are offered, Ziller provided some clarity.
As the first offsite ER of Rose Medical Center, Rose Stapleton ER offers the same level and quality of care as the Rose Medical Center ED. Although the Stapleton ER is not designed to handle major traumas on a regular basis, it can do so, and it can transport patients to higher-level facilities with operating rooms after stabilizing them. It has an ambulance entrance at the rear as well as separate walk-in entrances for children and adults.
Ziller also describes how emergency rooms differ from urgent care facilities. Emergency facilities have specially trained staff, including board-certified emergency physicians and RNs, while urgent care facilities typically rely more on mid-level providers, such as physician assistants, and do not always have RNs on staff. And while ERs are always open, urgent care centers have set hours. Most, though not all, urgent care centers offer basic laboratory services and plain film radiology, compared to the full lab and advanced imaging of a free-standing emergency room.
Rose Stapleton ER works with local urgent care facilities to provide a higher level of care if needed, but Ziller tries to avoid multiple transfers when possible. Care at an emergency facility can often cost considerably more than similar care at an urgent care, however, so consumers need to be conscientious when deciding where to seek care. Rose offers information on its website to help patients decide between emergency and urgent care.
According to Forbes, national trends show high levels of patient satisfaction with freestanding ERs. Rose Stapleton ER seems to be following that trend, with a steady increase in patient visits since it opened on Dec. 23, 2016, averaging about 15 a day as of mid-January. Approximately 20 percent of these are pediatric visits, compared to just 5 percent at the main Rose emergency department, a difference that will surprise nobody in Stapleton.