2013-07-04 / Local & State

FCMC Emergency Dept. To Expand


Pictured above is an architectural rendering of the planned expanded emergency department at Fulton County Medical Center. Pictured above is an architectural rendering of the planned expanded emergency department at Fulton County Medical Center. Although they weren’t the words Jenny Wade was expecting to hear when she rushed her daughter Chelsea into the Fulton County Medical Center’s emergency department on a cold, snowy February night, the Fort Littleton mother was comforted nonetheless because of the care and detail shown by the emergency department staff.

“When the physician said they were keeping her overnight for observation, I was greatly surprised,” said Wade. “The physician (Dr. Stern) was very efficient, attentive to the symptoms and extremely thorough.”

“He ordered labs and then told us she was going to be admitted for overnight observation. The staff was very accommodating – they told me I could stay with her and brought me a recliner and blankets. When she was discharged, she didn’t have a coat because I was in such a hurry to get her there, but they made sure she was bundled in blankets. It was peace of mind for me as a mom to know she was receiving great care from the beginning to the end.”

The emergency department is one of the “front doors” to the Fulton County Medical Center: There were 9,267 visits in 2011- 2012; from July 1, 2012 to April 30, 2013, there have been 8,108 visits – 518 of those patients were admitted for additional tests and/or services. Timing is everything and so is patient care. Together, it’s a win-win situation. Eighty-five percent of the patients who have visited the emergency department have seen the physician in less than 29 minutes, besting the national average. Nationally, the demand for emergency department services is projected to grow over the next three years as the newly insured will enter the healthcare marketplace. In fact, in a new survey, ED Solutions: Preparing for Increased Volume and Decreased Margins by Health Leaders Media, nearly 96 percent of healthcare leaders surveyed said they are now overcrowded and are concerned with patient safety.

Fulton County Medical Center is also preparing for the anticipated surge, and safety is at the forefront of this expansion project. “With this project comes enhanced safety measures – an improved entrance and exit way with security cameras, an upgrade to the nurse station with a glass enclosure, more efficient lockdown protocols and an increased level of privacy for patients,” said Jason Hawkins, FCMC CEO. “We are excited about this expansion project because it gives us the ability to offer some new services, while physically increasing our work area to better serve our community,” said Hawkins.

The $250,000 project will feature expanded space, expanded service and expanded care. Expanded space includes two new triage rooms, improved work flow and additional observation service space. Expanded service includes Telemedicine capabilities to improve a patient’s health by permitting two-way, real-time interactive communication between the patient and a physician or practitioner at a distant site. In much the same manner, Telestroke is the use of telemedicine specifically for stroke care. Expanded care features include increased patient privacy and enhanced patient/staff safety protocols.

“Our mission is to provide excellent care 24 hours a day, seven days a week while continuously improving the health of our community,” said Hawkins.

“Improving the quality of life in our communities is always the short- and long-term goal of the foundation,” said Mike Straley, executive director of the Fulton County Medical Center Foundation. “This is a project that we can rally around and support. We value every gift and are grateful to all of those who support our efforts.”

To make a gift, contact the foundation at 717-485-6842; by mail at FCMC Foundation, 214 Peach Orchard Road, Mc- Connellsburg, PA 17233; or online at fcmcpa.org.

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