On Sept. 26, the UF Health Emergency Center at Kanapaha opened for patients. We chatted with Matthew Shannon, .D., medical director, and Wendy Swan, B.S.N., R.N., ANE-A, nurse manager, who serves in the same role at the UF Health Shands Emergency Center at Springhill.
WHAT CAN PATIENTS EXPECT AT THE KANAPAHA E.R.?
Wendy Swan (WS): Patients can expect the excellent level of service that our staff offers at the Springhill E.R. — a welcoming atmosphere, excellent patient care and efficient processes. It’s going to be a beautiful space and a great addition to the community.
Matthew Shannon (MS): It was custom-built for the emergency medicine process. Our goal is to ensure that the same patient centered philosophy we have at our main E.R. (at UF Health Shands Hospital) and Springhill carries over to Kanapaha.
WHAT IS THE INTENT BEHIND HAVING FREESTANDING E.R.S?
MS: The faculty and staff at our freestanding E.R.s bring the expertise that you’ll find at our main E.R.. More access for emergency care is great for the community and allows the faculty and staff at our main E.R. provide an even better patient experience.
WS: The public will appreciate having more locations to choose from related to emergency care. Patients will feel secure knowing that the physicians and staff have the same high level of skills and credentials at each of our emergency rooms.
WHAT KIND OF SERVICES ARE PROVIDED AT OUR FREESTANDING E.R.S? WHEN SHOULD A PATIENT GO TO THE MAIN E.R.?
MS: Faculty and staff at the UF Health Emergency Center at Kanapaha will handle everything from broken bones to animal bites, with coordination of care by experts at our main E.R. Any patient with a condition that meets trauma alert criteria — including severe orthopaedic trauma, gunshot wounds and traumatic brain injuries — will be taken immediately to our Level 1 Trauma Center at UF Health Shands Hospital. When patients suffering from these types of trauma come through our doors, we will assess, stabilize and immediately transfer the patient. The teams at the main E.R. will be alerted and waiting for the patient.
WE ARE ALWAYS FOCUSED ON ENHANCING PATIENT SAFETY AND QUALITY. HOW DOES TEAMWORK HELP ACHIEVE THESE GOALS?
WS: Patient safety, quality and customer service are always our priorities. At Springhill, we’ve created a culture of caring, and we will continue meet the mark at Kanapaha. We will have a shared model of staffing that will ensure consistency at both locations and promote staff engagement. We are always looking to improve, so if there are questions or concerns — we want to know. At Springhill, our faculty and staff communicate constantly throughout the patient experience. The relationship that I have with the medical directors is crucial, and I am thankful to have Zachary Wilson, M.D., UF Health Shands Emergency Center at Springhill medical director, and Dr. Shannon to work with.
MS: There’s a feeling of camaraderie at Springhill. The secret sauce is people getting along with each other. The nursing staff at Springhill is one of the most responsive and team-focused groups I’ve ever worked with.
WHAT MAKES THIS NEW FACILITY UNIQUE?
WS: It was designed to provide faster access and efficiency for all. It features a spacious waiting area, plenty of triage and laboratory space and a focus on patient privacy. Every aspect of this E.R. was designed with the patient in mind! We also cross-train support staff so that as the needs change within the unit everyone is supported and the patient benefits.