This week, St. Joseph Mercy Chelsea will open a three-bed observation unit near the Emergency Department and Radiology. The unit will be staffed by ED physicians, nurses and techs, and be for patients who require less than 23-hours of care.
Each day, the hospital admits approximately 11 patients under observation status. These patients have historically utilized beds in Atrium or Courtyard East units. As hospital volume continues to increase, the ED Observation Unit enhances capacity and opens Atrium and Courtyard beds to inpatients and extended-recovery surgery patients.
“Many of our observation patients require very short stays while they receive IV antibiotics from animal bites or cellulitis,” said Donna Seeley, RN, Director, Emergency, Business Health and Trauma Services. “We also have patients who come in with chest pain, have an initial negative lab but we keep for observation and additional testing. In these situations, an observation unit is ideal. The patient will continue to receive care and close monitoring, near the ED in case a need arises, and once testing or medications are administered, will be able to go home safely.”
Patients being treated in the ED Observation Unit will remain observation status unless their condition worsens and requires admission. Throughout their stay in the Observation Unit, the patient’s vitals and information will be tracked and monitored by both the care team assigned to the unit and on the ED’s tracking board.
The development of the Observation Unit has been a close collaboration between physicians and staff of the ED, Radiology, Dietary, Clinical Engineering, TIS and Housekeeping among other departments.
“This has been a true team effort,” Seeley said. “We are excited to get the unit up and running and be able to improve our overall patient flow within the hospital.”