Health Matters Blog

When Rapid Care Isn’t Rapid

By: Brian Richardson

Rapid Care in the BMH Emergency Department is a concept; a process rather than just a place. It is not just a couple of treatment rooms but rather it is a commitment to you and our community. It combines the correct patient with the correct provider in the correct room. It has allowed the Emergency Team to better utilize resources and deliver care in a safe and compassionate fashion. The process in our Emergency Department is also a work in progress, a different train of thought in an environment that demands flexibility. Much of the time this process works but on occasion the rapid care process is anything but rapid.

An obvious reason for the process sometimes being less then rapid is volume. Multiple patients per hour or all arriving within a few moments will hamper the best system. There are times when the sheer volume of patients causes the process to falter. Even though we staff for peak periods those periods are not always predictable. Volume isn’t the only issue though.

Brian Richardson

Brian Richardson

Some patients are sick; very sick. That is really closer to the heart of the matter. The real reason that the rapid care isn’t always rapid is because we are an Emergency Department. We take all comers no matter what. We have to be prepared for absolutely any situation that people find themselves in. We cannot and do not turn people away. We take you as you are and when you arrive. We are here for you and your sniffles but we are also here for your broken bones, your heart attacks and your collisions. We are here for your neighbor who hasn’t been feeling well and finds that they have a terminal illness. We are here for your child who has overdosed; we are here for the stranger that “cannot take it anymore” or the homeless person with diabetes. We are here for the ten car pileup on the interstate; the laceration, the earache the worried parent and person hearing voices. We are here for you and sometimes we have to slow the process down, take a moment and meet people where they are at.

More times than not the process works and works well. We can and do take care of your rashes, puncture wounds, sprains and strains but sometimes what you may think is minor is something that we feel we have to investigate further. Perhaps we need to order a CAT scan of your head, or do blood tests and consult a specialist or start a therapy that requires you to spend the night. Those things take time but the good news is that you can get them all here. We will assist you in arranging your follow-up or help you get a primary care provider. We will stand with you no matter what. We will keep you safe when you cannot; we will meet you where you are.

The Emergency Department at BMH takes its charge of being here for you in every situation seriously. We will take care of your minor concern or help you get through your worst day ever. It may be very quick and expeditious or we may need to take a little more time to check you out. What matters is that we can. We are your one stop; we are here for you.

Brian Richardson is the Director of Emergency Services at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital. Brian has been involved in EMS for nearly 25 years and has been a paramedic for the past 20 years. He can be reached at 802-257-0341.

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