The process of planning for health facilities requires careful consideration of all the necessary departments that will make them become complete healthcare providers. Each facility or department within a hospital plays an important role towards the delivery of quality healthcare and services. Some of the basic facilities that each health facility or hospital must have include a family clinic, an emergency room, an outpatient clinic, a surgical centre and ambulatory services. The American Fork Hospital located in the state of Utah in U.S.A is a perfect example of hospitals that are striving to establish all the basic departments for effective and quality healthcare provision (D’Antonio, 2010). This paper will highlight the need for an emergency department or room in a hospital and later describe the setup of the emergency department at the American Fork Hospital.
The need for an Emergency Room in our hospitals has been increasing significantly because of the many life-threatening scenarios in the contemporary life. An emergency department is mostly needed to provide acute care to unexpected medical cases that require urgent clinical attention (Eckert, 1981). The department provides primary care to a wide range of illnesses most of which are normally life threatening. A hospital without an emergency room will always have problems with providing quality and efficient healthcare services to those patients in need of emergency attention. Access to healthcare services has been a major challenge to many people and in the process making emergency departments in hospitals as major entry points to primary healthcare for patients with acute illnesses (Eckert, 1981). Since emergency departments are always in operation for 24 hours in a day, they enable the hospital to manage all emergency cases regardless of the time of the day.
The other critical role of the emergency department is in prioritizing of patients according to their level of clinical need (Evans, 2006). This helps in minimizing the waiting time of patients that require urgent medical attention. Triage sorting is a fundamental stage in the emergency department and instills a lot of order in the health facility. Conditions such as a heart attacks and critical injuries are normally handled in the emergency department because they require quick medical attention. An emergency department in hospital ensures that the hospital and the community in general is well prepared incase of any disaster. Most hospitals in the state of Utah like the American Fork Hospital set up emergency in line with local authority guidelines that lay much emphasis on disaster preparedness and readiness for both terrorist and biological accidents (D’Antonio, 2010). The other need for a hospital emergency department is to deal with communicable diseases that require immediate medical attention. Hospital emergency departments have recently emerged as important centers of dealing with disasters and other emergencies and therefore special attention should be given to them to ensure that they have the required facilities and personnel (Evans, 2006).
The American Fork Hospital in is located in the rural state of Utah making the rural population to form the majority of the hospital’s clients (D’Antonio, 2010). Rural communities need to be well prepared to handle emergency cases since most city residents are normally evacuated to rural areas in case of a terrorist attack and other major disasters. Rural areas are potential sources of bioterrorist accidents since many power facilities that can be utilized as weapons of mass destruction are found there. Most rural hospitals have limited bed capacities that can not handle a serious disaster thus making it necessary for the available hospitals and health facilities to set emergency departments (Evans, 2006). The American Fork Hospital is a rural hospital that has set up an emergency department as one way of demonstrating its ability to handle emergency cases in a professional manner.
The American Fork Hospital provides all types of medical care to the local community in the rural state of Utah (D’Antonio, 2010). It is among the best healthcare facilities in the state of Utah and offers both impatient and outpatient healthcare services to its clients. The new emergency and critical care department is among the best in the state of Utah and attracts clients from the local area and beyond. The emergency and critical department at American Fork Hospital offers emergency medical care on both long-term and short-term basis with a loving and caring staff always available to help. The emergency department has a 17-bed capacity and operates all the seven days of the week for 24 hours. The department handles acute medical conditions under the care of professional nurses, physicians and the support staff. There is no age limit for emergency department patients and every patient is attended to whether an adult or an infant (Evans, 2006).
The department attends to patients according to the severity of their conditions with a maximum waiting time of 30 minutes before a patient is attended to by the doctor from their time of arrival (D’Antonio, 2010). After triage sorting, patients are rushed to the treatment rooms where registration takes place. Registration is done in emergency rooms as treatment goes on to reduce waiting time. The emergency department at the American Fork Hospital is helped a great deal by the Intermountain Life Flight arrangement that helps in the quick transportation of patients from remote areas to the hospital. Professional physicians, nurses and respiratory therapists form part of the crew that provides emergency care to patients in transit (D’Antonio, 2010). The Life Flight initiative also helps in the transportation of special medical equipment needed in the emergency care of patients.
The Emergency department at American Fork Hospital is merged with the intensive care unit that provides advanced medical care for patients in acute conditions. The rooms are equipped with modern equipment with stations for nurses to ensure that the patients are always monitored by nurses as they attend to their needs. The facility has a waiting hall where family members can wait for visiting times (D’Antonio, 2010). Each patient has a designated spokesperson from among the family members or friends that receives all the phone calls regarding the patient’s condition. The critical care unit has strict guidelines that limit the number of visitors to visit the patients at a time, the type of gifts to be given to the patients and the type of visitors to visit the patient (Eckert, 1981).
In conclusion, an emergency department is very important in any hospital because it helps in managing emergency medical cases and disasters. When planning to establish or renovate any health facility, it is necessary to include an emergency room because of the ever increasing cases life-threatening scenarios. The emergency department at American Fork Hospital is a perfect example of how a modern emergency room should be setup.
D’Antonio, P. (2010). American nursing: A history of knowledge, authority, and the meaning of work. New York, NY: JHU Press.
Eckert, C. (1981). Emergency room care. New York, NY: Little Brown.
Evans, C. (2006). The foundations of emergency care. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill International