Massena Memorial Hospital's 'Fast-Track Care' open Monday through Thursday; weekend coverage expected in future
Monday, February 28, 2011 - 6:05 am

MASSENA --- Massena Memorial Hospital has reconfigured its Emergency Department to get people with minor injuries and illnesses treated quickly while not taxing the department’s ability to handle serious emergencies.

Jeremy Welsh, DHSc, MPAS, RPA-C, Physician Assistant, is the new coordinator of the MMH Fast-Track Care. He will see patients in the Emergency Department Monday through Thursday from 2:30 -10:30 p.m. with all of the backup resources of the hospital's x-ray and lab departments at his disposal. The clinic will expand hours to the weekends once additional providers join the team, MMH said.

“The goal is to treat patients with minor illnesses or injuries while relieving the burden on the emergency department,” said Welsh.

"One of the problems the Emergency Department faces today is that too many people with minor illnesses come to the emergency room when their doctors' offices are closed," said hospital chief Charles Fahd. "We want to improve customer service and treat our lower-acuity patients in a more appropriate manner."

"We all know how the emergency rooms are backed up because of a shortage of primary-care providers. Approximately 30 percent of the patients treated in our emergency room are patients with non-urgent health-care needs," added Fahd. “We are striving to expand this service for seven days a week during the Emergency Department busiest times. We expect additional practitioners to be on board in the very near future.”

Massena Memorial officials say the Emergency Department is also ready at all times to handle urgent, often life-threatening cases.

More than 18,000 patients come through the doors of the MMH Emergency Department for treatment each year. Individuals with cuts, sprains and sudden fevers require relatively minor care. But a significant number of emergency patients require more advanced services.

The MMH Emergency Department features a two-bay trauma room and six specialized treatment rooms. MMH’s emergency facility is staffed with a board-certified physician 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Through the use of radio communication, staff can begin to direct care while the patient is still in an ambulance en route to the waiting emergency team.