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Over a quiet opening weekend, University Hospitals’ Kent Emergency Department operated smoothly, according to UH officials.
The center, located at 411 Devon Place near the intersection of state routes 43 and 261, opened Friday.
“I think, for the most part, everything went very well,” said Robin Goldinger, manager of the new facility. “We had a few little computer issues, and they were resolved very quickly.”
The facility offers convenient emergency services for Brimfield, Kent and other surrounding communities, as well as an urgent care center, which will be open on weekends when pediatricians’ and family doctors’ offices are closed, said Goldinger.
Brimfield Fire Chief Craig Mulally and Kent Fire Lt. Patrick Edwards said it was a fairly slow weekend.
“I think we’ve used it once,” said Mulally. “It was the first ambulance to get there. Everything looks good. I think the whole turn around time was 45 minutes from the beginning of the call until being back in service.”
Edwards said the emergency department’s location is a big advantage.
“It’s awful convenient,” he said. “It’s saving us 10 or 12 minutes a trip each way to the hospital. It’s a beautiful place.”
Goldinger said the facility had eight visitors on Friday, 16 on Saturday and 11 on Sunday.
“Seven of the patients were transported by squad; the rest were walk-ins,” she said. “I thought it would have been the opposite, but you never can tell.”
Novelli said the hospital was hoping for a busier opening weekend.
“I think we were all hoping for a little more volume, but maybe that’s a good thing,” she said. “We’re expecting to see an increase in utilization of the facility as things start to get rolling and other people realize we’re here.”
Lynn Novelli, UH’s media relations senior communications strategist, said the emergency department was supposed to open July 11, but it was delayed until July 14.
“The reason for the delay was pretty minor stuff,” she said. “They wanted to make sure all the signage and everything was up.”
She said there was also touch up painting completed last week, as well as inspections.
UH will host an open house at the facility Aug. 19 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The event will include blood glucose, blood pressure, bone density and cholesterol screenings, as well as a variety of demonstrations and informational programs. Some of those include hands-only CPR, an injury prevention program presented by the Teddy Bear Clinic, first-aid and free CPR sign-ups, child safety and tours of the facility.
The facility is divided into a emergency department, which is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and an urgent care center for less serious injuries and sicknesses. The urgent care center will be open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. seven days a week, according to Novelli.
The new emergency department is housed in a former Robinson Memorial Hospital surgery center. It’s now undergone $6.5 million in improvements and offers eight beds on the emergency department side and six beds on the urgent care side, according to Joe Wilson, UH manager of facilities operations.
Its proximity to the medical arts building next door, also a UH facility, provides quick access to an imaging center, including X-rays, MRIs, CT scans and other services, he added. The buildings are connected by a walkway.
William Benoit, chief operating officer at UH Portage Medical Center, estimated the new emergency department has created 100 jobs.
FB: Bob Gaetjens - Record-Courier