With the program in place the hospital is already nearing its goal of reducing visits by 3 percent to 4 percent, he said.
“The emergency department is happy to see everyone, no matter what,” James Fesser, ER director at PPGH, said. The department sees many illnesses, such as sore throats and ear infections, that could be best treated in other departments.
On average the ER sees about 1,800 monthly visits with admits between about 150 to 170, he said. These admits don’t count those admitted for observation, stays that are less than 24 hours. About 3 percent to 4 percent of patients are transferred to other hospitals for higher levels of care or for specialties such as neurology that PPGH doesn’t offer.
Elopements, or patients who check in but leave without being served, have declined to 1 percent, he said. “This is far below the national average.”
With pediatricians in place to reduce ER visits, the ER will be able to better serve patients, he said.
“You decrease the demand, then the workload decreases,” he said. A decrease in workload allows emergency personnel to aid patients faster and give them the best care possible.