Fast Track Re-opens In Expanding Emergency Department

Fast Track

New Fast Track area opens.

(LEXINGTON, N.C.--Sept. 4,2012--) "Fast Track," a unit where patients are treated for minor illnesses and injuries, has re-opened in the expanding emergency department at Wake Forest Baptist Health-Lexington Medical Center.

"Fast Track" consists of eight beds in a separate area of the emergency department.  The area has an attractive, modern look, resulting in a more comfortable environment. 

"The concept behind 'Fast Track' is that these patients can be treated quicker in a stand-alone unit," said Steve Snelgrove, president of Lexington Medical Center.  "We anticipate that their wait time and treatment time will be reduced in the new "Fast Track" area.

"The consolidated 'Fast Track' will enable our physicians to provide patients a more efficient service, since the eight rooms are in one area within the emergency department."  Previously, "Fast Track" had six rooms scattered throughout the emergency department.

Patients are seen by a triage nurse who determines whether they can be treated in "Fast Track" or in the regular area of the emergency departments.  "There is no difference in the quality of care, and the same physicians treat the patients," said Snelgrove.

The overall expansion project is on schedule and is expected to be completed by next March.  "We ask that patients bear with us as we provide the best possible care in the midst of a major construction project," he added

The expansion totals 5,000 square feet and represents an increase of 70 per cent in space.  When completed, the emergency department will have 26 rooms to treat patients.  The family waiting area also will be expanded.

The number of visits to the emergency department has increased dramatically in the past two years to more than 36,500.  Physicians from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center staff the emergency department.

"We want the residents of Davidson County to have the most efficient access to emergency care, specialty care and medical technology," said James W. Hoekstra, M. D., chairman and professor of Emergency Medicine at Wake Forest Baptist.  He leads a group of 110 physicians who staff the emergency departments at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, Cone Health and Wilkes Regional, in addition to Lexington Medical Center.

The cost of the expansion is $1.8 million.  Funds are being supplemented by employees of Lexington Medical Center.  Their annual campaign raised approximately $40,000 which will be matched by Wake Forest Baptist for a total contribution of $80,000 toward construction costs.

Construction also is continuing on the expansion and relocation of rehab services, which is expected to be completed this fall.

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