New Observation Unit opens at Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center
In 2009, the GSWB emergency department became an adult urgent care center, with emergency care centralized at Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center in Plains Twp. In the years since, Geisinger officials watched an increase in the number of South Wilkes-Barre patients seeking treatment at Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center’s emergency department, with more than 25 percent of ED patients now driving the distance to GWV.
“We made a commitment to our communities to provide quality, specialty care close to home. That commitment was behind the decision to bring back emergency services to GSWB,” said Anthony Aquilina, regional president, Geisinger Northeast.
Complementing the $5 million emergency department project is a significant expansion of inpatient services and other facility enhancements at the hospital, including 13 newly renovated medical and surgical units that will offer all-private patient rooms. The new unit will house patients who come through the ED or who undergo surgical procedures that require inpatient stays.
Upgrades also include the expansion of laboratory services and full-service radiology.
“The re-opening of a state-of-the-art, refurbished emergency department represents another critical step towards a very bright future for GSWB,” said Ron Beer, chief administrative officer, Geisinger Northeast. “The South Wilkes-Barre location will be more convenient for our patients by providing emergency care where they live and work while reducing wait time for patients at both of our Wilkes-Barre emergency departments.”
With a significant increase in emergency department patient volumes - a trend hospitals across the nation are facing - Geisinger is already proactively addressing emergency department wait times in Wilkes-Barre by recruiting a growing team of board certified emergency medicine physicians and nurses and by introducing a $2.9 million, 10-bed observation unit at Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center last month. The new, 3,900-square-foot unit at GWV features private rooms with full-size hospital beds, televisions and meal-service where hospital staff can closely monitor patients and expedite testing and treatments while alleviating congestion in the hospital’s emergency department.
Observation patients are typically those awaiting test results or who require ongoing evaluation. In most cases, these patients go home within 23 hours of arrival, avoiding unnecessary admissions to the hospital.
“Geisinger’s emergency medical care is a vital community resource that often serves as the front door to our full spectrum of clinical and support services,” said Ronald Strony, M.D., director of emergency medicine for Geisinger Northeast and co-chair of Geisinger Emergency Medicine. “Backed by our long-established trauma centers and seven Life Flight emergency helicopters, our emergency medicine teams are on the front lines when it comes to saving lives.”
One of the nation’s most innovative health services organizations, Geisinger serves more than 1.5 million patients in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The system includes 13 hospital campuses, a nearly 600,000-member health plan, two research centers and the Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine. A physician-led organization, with approximately 32,000 employees and more than 1,800 employed physicians, Geisinger leverages an estimated $12.7 billion positive annual impact on the Pennsylvania and New Jersey economies. Repeatedly recognized nationally for integration, quality and service, Geisinger has a long-standing commitment to patient care, medical education, research and community service. For more information, visit www.geisinger.org, or connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.
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