JUPITER – Patients who need stitches or care for minor burns will likely notice a difference in their wait times after Jupiter Medical Center added eight fast track beds as part of a project to $ 4 million expansion slated to start this fall.

Staff members say the expansion will make a difference for patients who do not need life-saving care and who often come first after those who need more immediate help.

Fast track beds will treat patients with an emphasis on leaving the emergency room and providing care, said Daniel Register, director of the emergency department at Jupiter Medical Center.

“If you walk in with a potentially broken finger, you would have a really hard time getting speeded up because you’re at the bottom of the acuity scale,” Register said of the prioritization system hospitals use to figure out how to treat them. patients. “You could be bypassed several times, when the reality is we want to treat you as fast as possible and get you out.”

Jupiter Medical Center currently has 29 adult beds in its emergency room and seven separate pediatric beds. The expansion will bring the total number of adult emergency beds to 37.

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A rendering of the new emergency room extension at Jupiter Medical Center, which will stretch west of the existing ER footprint.

How COVID-19 is affecting the emergency room at Jupiter Medical Center

A gift of 3 million dollars from the New York company Attilio and Beverly Petrocelli Foundation and a million dollar gift from Joyce C. Fisher, owner of a Jupiter property and widow of seatbelt inventor Robert Fisher, will fund the expansion.

Register said the emergency department sees about 100 patients per day for a total of about 40,000 per year. According to the medical center, this represents an increase from 21,000 patients per year in 2006, when the emergency department was last renovated.

“Due to changing demographics and expanding service lines, we are experiencing a marked increase in volumes throughout the year,” said Amit Rastogi, president and CEO of Jupiter Medical Center, in a Press release. “The demand on our emergency department made it a priority for us to expand this area of ​​the hospital. “

The expansion plan follows two years when the COVID-19 pandemic has shaken emergency care internationally.

Since many emergency services are at full capacity with COVID patients, their staff are forced to either refuse or bypass patients, subjecting them to extended waiting times while healthcare professionals come up with creative solutions to provide patients with the care they need.

Register said Jupiter Medical Center is feeling the same effects.

“Before the pandemic, the average patient stay was three to five days. The goal is to have fewer days so you can see new patients,” he said. “But with COVID, the average is 10 to 11 days. Nationally, the length of stay extended by COVID patients creates this domino effect.”

He warned that the average length of hospital stay is a real average: Many COVID patients have spent significantly more time in hospitals while battling the virus.

“What we can control is what happens once you get here”

The emergency department expansion project will extend the service west of its existing footprint and is scheduled to end in the summer of 2022. While the service is under construction, patients will likely see crews working outside and will see a plastic construction liner on the inside.

Regarding the service setup, Register said the biggest change during construction will be a realignment of the triage area, where medical staff assess patients and prioritize care.

The project, which was underway long before the pandemic, will prepare medical center staff to deal with future crises.

“No matter the pandemic or the challenge we face, our goal is to treat each patient with a set of standards that meet their needs,” Register said. “We can’t control what’s going on in the world. What we can control is what happens once you get here.”

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@katikokal


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