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Swedish/Issaquah ER Receives National Recognition for Patient Satisfaction

ISSAQUAH, WASH., Nov. 21, 2012 – When people think of an emergency room (ER) the words ‘patient satisfaction’ are probably not the first that come to mind. However, at the Swedish/Issaquah ER patient satisfaction is a top priority – and now the facility has been nationally recognized for its work in this area.

Improving the emergency department experience - and being recognized four years in a row

When you think of emergency rooms or emergency departments, “patient satisfaction” probably isn’t the first phrase that comes to mind. As an Emergency Medicine nurse, and having travel-nursed throughout the United States for the past 20 years, I’ve come to the realization that the traditional way of doing things is broken. In fact, about eight years ago, I was so disillusioned with my career that I decided to leave nursing.

But then, an amazing new opportunity came my way.

The nurse recruiter for the local agency I had been working with knew I was planning to leave the field, but informed me of an opportunity being developed at Swedish Medical Center in Issaquah. In short, Swedish was building a new freestanding Emergency Department (ED) that would offer something to patients that — at the time — was unheard of: an experience solely dedicated to patient satisfaction and respecting the patients’ time. This new way of thinking and new opportunity with Swedish re-energized my desire to stay in the field, and I accepted the challenge this job offered.

Fast-forward eight years and we’ve succeeded in our goal to make our Emergency Department experience second to none, and one that others try to emulate.

It’s not your typical ED.

Patients in the area know that when they come to the Swedish/Issaquah Emergency Department (and other Swedish Emergency Departments like Mill Creek and Redmond), they will experience a “no-wait” philosophy. You won’t sit around in a waiting room; rather, you’ll be taken directly to an exam room with your care started immediately. And, now we’re being nationally recognized for our achievements.

The Issaquah ED was ...

Broken Ribs: A New Fix for One of the Most Painful Fractures

SEATTLE, Oct. 10, 2012 - You can't put a cast on a broken rib, but the FDA just approved a new treatment that speeds recovery from months to weeks.

Swedish's Employer Medical Assistance Program Featured in Puget Sound Business Journal Article

SEATTLE, April 30, 2012 - Swedish Employer Medical Assistance (EMA) was recently featured in a Puget Sound Business Journal (PSBJ) article published April 27 about the program and the services it provides to the cruise-ship, maritime and industrial companies throughout the region.

EMA Medical Director Ray Jarris, M.D., and Program Manager Laura Walden - along with a few EMA client representatives - were interviewed for the piece.

Where to Receive the Right Level of Medical Care

 When you are ill or injured, where should you go to receive the right level of medical care?

Head Injuries in Kids: when do they need to get checked out?

We all know toddlers have big heads. It’s no secret. I always used to get a good laugh from my kids as they were just learning to walk. As they leaned over, once the head started to fall, the body was sure to follow. Since I was a medical student and resident when my kids were that age, watching them weeble and wobble around the room provided hours of inexpensive entertainment in between studying for my board exams. But unfortunately, sometimes those falls result in more significant head injuries, with skull fractures, bleeding in the brain, and concussions.

The challenge for us as parents is determining when our children have sustained a “significant” head injury that we need to take them to see the doctor or when we can just observe them at home. For this reason parents often rush their kids to the ER after even a seemingly minor bump to the head.

Avoiding Emergencies

Accidents happen. Life is unpredictable. Kids sometimes get sick. If you are a parent, chances are you may have already experienced a visit to an Emergency Department. And though a trip to the doctor is often unavoidable, there are many things parents can do to avoid unwanted injuries and illnesses.

  1. It is all fun and games until someone dislocates an elbow.

    We have all been tempted to lift or swing our children by their hands or wrists. They love it and squeal for more. But, be cautious. You don’t want to be among the countless miserable, guilt-ridden parents who come into the ER with a crying toddler that won’t move their arm following such fun and games. Commonly known at “Nursemaid’s Elbow”, it is a dislocation that occurs at the elbow in toddlers and young children who are lifted by their hands, wrists, or distal forearms. It also commonly occurs when an adult is holding the hand of an active toddler and the adult jerks back on the arm of the child. Luckily, there is an easy fix and no permanent harm done. In fact, it can be fixed within a matter of moments using a simple relocation procedure. Within minutes, our little patients are scrambling around the room as if nothing ever happened.
  2. Be careful going down the slide with your child.

    Summer is on the way and it is time to go to the playground with your little ones. We want to teach our kids all about the joys of velocity, so we carry them up the slide, plop them in between our legs, and away we go. But wait! This can be a dangerous choice because if a child’s leg gets twisted on the way down the slide it can result in a broken bone. Four to six weeks with your toddler in a leg cast is the perfect way to spoil your summer plans. All that is required for this injury to occur is for your child to catch their rubber-soled shoe on the slide, or for the fabric from their pants to get caught underneath an adult’s leg. Then one hundred-plus pounds of adult jettisons the child down the slide and produces just enough torque to snap a little bone. A better choice is to let your kids go down by themselves when they are ready. Or, if you feel the need to take them down the slide, make certain that their legs (and arms for that matter) are securely on top of your lap and not in direct contact with the slide.
  3. Absolutely NO running with anything in the mouth.

    No food. No pencils. No toys. Nada. Enough said!
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