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Express Care in Emergency Departments Ideal for Patients with Minor Illnesses, Injuries

In Brief

  • Express Care is available in Crozer-Keystone Health System’s four emergency departments.
  • The Express Care system aims to fast-track patients who have non-life threatening conditions, decreasing their wait time.
  • If you feel you are involved in an emergency, come to a Crozer-Keystone Emergency Department or call your family physician.

Crozer-Keystone Health System’s emergency care professionals care for everyone, including those who are acutely sick or injured. But for those who have more minor illnesses or injuries, Crozer-Keystone’s four emergency departments offer Express Care systems. Express Care provides quick and easy access to emergency care so that patients with minor injuries or illnesses can be treated and on their way as soon as possible. 

The Express Care system for non-emergency patients will fast track those who have non-life threatening conditions to decrease their wait time. “When a patient comes into the ED, a triage nurse will take all of their vital information and then less potentially serious conditions are routed to Express Care. After a person is registered, the nurse will move them along accordingly,” says Bruce Nisbet, M.D., chairman of the Emergency Department (ED) at Crozer-Chester Medical Center.

Crozer saw more than 53,000 people last year in its ED. It is one of the busiest EDs in the region. “A short wait time is good for everyone. In addition, it is important to let families know that we have ‘kid-friendly emergency care.’ The ED has its own kid-friendly waiting area and patient rooms designed to treat children. A pediatrician is frequently available during peak times that children visit the ED and all emergency physicians have special training in pediatric emergencies,” Nisbet says.

Express Care at Crozer operates Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 1 a.m. and on the weekends from 10 a.m. to 1 a.m.

At Delaware County Memorial Hospital, Express Care is referred to as Fast Track and also is designed for patients with less-complex problems. Last year alone, DCMH treated more than 39,000 patients. “[DCMH has] one of the largest EDs in Delaware County, with round-the-clock access to cardiologists, plastic surgeons, general surgeons and a variety of specialized surgeons, in providing patients with quick and precise treatment upon their arrival,” says John F. Reilly, D.O., chairman of the Emergency Department at Delaware County Memorial Hospital.

“Patients who walk in are evaluated by the triage nurse and then directed to either Emergency or Fast Track depending on their symptoms. In addition, we have a kid-friendly waiting area for children in the ED,” Reilly says.

Springfield Hospital’s ED provides care for more than 11,000 patients per year. With the opening of the hospital’s expanded Emergency Department in November 2008, the state-of-the art facility is now equipped to treat 12,000 to 22,000 patients per year. The new ED has more patient treatment areas and two separate entrances for walk-in patients and those who are brought in by ambulance.

In addition, Springfield Hospital provides a Fast Track program available from 5 to 10 p.m. daily and operates the same as other Crozer-Keystone facilities in that the triage nurse will evaluate the patient and streamline them to Fast Track, if appropriate.

“The growth of the Emergency Department has provided the staff with the ability to provide quicker attention to all patients who come through. The Fast Track program treats patients quickly and efficiently so that their wait time is limited. All patients that come through the ED are a priority and are treated without delay,” says George Parsons, D.O., chairman of the Emergency Department at Springfield Hospital.

Taylor Hospital saw more than 28,000 patients in its ED last year. “Each patient gets the equal amount of attention when they come into the ED. It is important for the triage nurse to take the information and then make a decision to send a patient through Express Care,” says Gregory Cuculino, M.D., chairman of the Emergency Department at Taylor Hospital. 

“It is important to go through an Express Care Emergency Department versus a mini clinic that is not attached to an ED. Express Care and Fast Tracks are staffed by physician’s assistants that are supervised by an ED physician on site in case it is more severe. Mini clinics are not routinely staffed by physicians,” Cuculino says. 

“Patients may think they just need a quick visit for a non-emergency issue, but in actuality it could be very serious and needs more intensive care. The mini clinics should be thought of as going to a doctor’s office for a sick visit. They have limited capabilities and often cannot do things like blood work or X-rays right on the premises. However, if you need immediate care and it requires medical attention, then the ED is always the best place to go,” Cuculino says. Hours of Express Care at Taylor Hospital are 3 to 11 p.m. daily.

Not every cut needs stitches or every bump and bruise requires advanced medical treatment, but it is always best to err on the side of caution. If you feel you are involved in an emergency, come to a Crozer-Keystone Emergency Department or call your family physician. If the emergency is life-threatening call 911.

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