HUTCHINSON — Valley Emergency Physicians, the physician group providing emergency services to Hutchinson Regional Medical Center, has designated the hospital “Kid-Qualified,” for its efforts in providing a multitude of pediatric services and for establishing quality and safety measures for children.
Headquartered in Concord, Calif., VEP provides emergency services to hospitals throughout the nation. The designation was granted following a rigorous confirmation process including an onsite visit to the HRMC Emergency Department.
Ron Dieckmann, director of pediatrics for VEP, said pediatric care at the hospital was evaluated in a number of areas and Hutch Regional distinguished itself in all categories.
“The designation signifies a high level of compliance with national and organizational guidelines for care of children in the Hutchinson Regional Emergency Department,” Dieckmann said.
Dr. Bryan Henderson, MD, HRMC/VEP emergency medical director, said additional innovations for treating pediatric patients have been established including a rapid method of pain relief for children dealing with painful conditions including burns, fractures and bad cuts. “The HRMC ED staff are now trained to administer potent pain medication using a small device that delivers a gentle mist of drug into the nose, instead of an injection needle,” Henderson said. “Since pain is the most common reason for parents seeking treatment of children in Emergency Departments, this new procedure will enhance care.”
Teresa Ellis, director of patient care services for ED and education at Hutch Regional, said the ED treats as many as 10 pediatric patients, from birth to age 18, per day or more than 3,600 each year. “Our goal is to provide a pediatric friendly environment, to make the experience less scary and to strive for what we call an “ouch-less ED” for young patients,” Ellis said. “Also, we implemented specific training for staff in pediatric care and set up a special pediatric cart, the contents of which include everything from pediatric-specific supplies to toys and iPads for distraction.
“Whenever possible, drugs to children are administered by nebulizer or through the nose in order to avoid needle sticks,” Ellis continued.
Hutch Regional maintains an inpatient pediatric unit where staff utilizes the new pediatric services available within the ED.
Additionally, a special “Pediatric Room” has been established within the ED. Cassidy Stringfellow, unit assistant for the ED, hand drew wall scenes with a children’s theme throughout the room in an effort to offer young patients a “non-clinical” environment during tests and treatments.
Ken Johnson, president and CEO of Hutchinson Regional Healthcare System, said the Hutchinson Regional/VEP relationship has proven very beneficial for Hutch Regional. “VEP personnel work with our staff to maintain the highest standards for pediatrics to raise the bar on emergency care for children,” Johnson said. “The Kid-Qualified designation is an indication that the Hutch Regional Emergency Department has achieved a national standard of excellence in pediatric care.”
Hutchinson Regional Medical Center is an entity of Hutchinson Regional Healthcare System. Other entities are Health-E-Quip, Horizons Mental Health Center, Hospice and HomeCare of Reno County and Hutchinson Regional Medical Foundation.