Three Rapid Evaluation and Treatment Units (RETU) for Emergency Department (ED) patients were recently opened at Mount Sinai Beth Israel, Mount Sinai Roosevelt, and Mount Sinai St. Luke’s. These observation units are designed to care for patients who cannot be safely discharged after their initial evaluation and management in the ED, yet may not meet the criteria for inpatient admission. They follow a model of care set by The Mount Sinai Hospital in February when it opened the first RETU in New York City.
The Mount Sinai Hospital is the first in New York City to open an observation unit for Emergency Department (ED) patients who do not meet criteria for inpatient admission, yet require further short-term evaluation and treatment before they can be discharged safely. The 20-bed Rapid Evaluation and Treatment Unit (RETU) is adjacent to the ED and is staffed by physicians, physician assistants, nurse managers, nurses, case managers, and social workers who work as a team to better assess and coordinate patient care. Similar units will be rolled out at hospitals throughout the Mount Sinai Health System in the coming months.
It was a “miracle on 125th Street” last December, when Cecil Williams, who is blind, temporarily lost consciousness and fell onto the subway tracks at the Harlem station with his loyal service dog Orlando close behind. Onlookers frantically summoned help. Together, the two survived in the space between the tracks as the train pulled in above them.
Suffering from cuts and bruises, and a laceration to his head, Mr. Williams was treated at St. Luke’s Hospital for nine days before being released. Orlando was always at his side.
The Emergency Departments at St. Luke’s and Roosevelt Hospitals started transferring pediatric cases to The Mount Sinai Hospital on Tuesday, October 1, a day after the creation of the Mount Sinai Health System. These patient transfers are among the first systemwide synergies to be implemented throughout the seven campuses, and point to the fluidity of the Health System’s Inter-Hospital Transfer Center, which is open seven days a week, 24 hours a day.
While the new concept of a Geriatric Emergency Department is garnering attention recently, Mount Sinai’s Pediatric Emergency Department continues its tradition of innovation and excellence in caring for children during the most stressful of times.
Recent investments include staffing Child Life Specialists, whose role is to advocate for patient care and act as a liaison between patients, families and care providers.
Also, Pediatric Emergency physician Dr. Audrey Paul has spearheaded a community outreach, entitled, “How to Navigate an Emergency Room Visit with your Child.” This innovative bilingual workshop was the first in a series of parent education initiatives for parents in low-income and underserved communities on preparing for pediatric emergencies. The project began at Little Sisters of the Assumption and will expand to additional areas to reach more families in underserved communities.
This Saturday, February 23rd, marks the 1-year anniversary of the Geriatrics Emergency Department at Mount Sinai. Recognizing that the US population is aging, and that existing emergency departments were too often designed around provider’s needs – rather than that of their older patients – Mount Sinai emergency medicine researcher Ula Hwang was one of the first to describe the compelling need for specialized geriatric emergency care. Transforming that vision into a reality involved years of planning, construction and even specialized programming of our electronic systems.
Philip Abrams didn’t want to go to the Emergency Department.
He’d never felt this way before. What at first seemed like a simple headache just kept getting worse. Though he couldn’t see his regular doctor, the covering doctor suspected sinusitis, and started an antibiotic. When things progressed, he was referred to an ENT specialist, who noted an emerging rash on his nose and forehead, and suspected shingles. He got an anti-viral medication and pain meds, but couldn’t sleep because of the increasing pain.
When his eye started to get involved, his wife persuaded him to go to Mount Sinai’s new geriatric emergency department. “It was the last thing I felt like doing. I felt horrible, I hadn’t eaten anything in the past couple of days, and I didn’t want to move…”
But soon after his arrival, things started looking up. “I wasn’t there more than a few minutes before I was whisked out of that space and ushered to another area where my blood pressure was taken… I was promptly seen, and the physician’s assistant gathered info about me, asked if I had eaten, and promptly brought me a turkey sandwich and drink.”