St. Elizabeth's ER makes updates for children

News-DemocratFebruary 25, 2014 

— New certification, new rooms and hours dedicated to pediatric care, will make St. Elizabeth's Hospital emergency room become more kid friendly.

The hospital is again equipped to treat emergency and critical care needs of seriously ill and injured children after recently receiving the Emergency Department Approved for Pediatrics certification. It recognizes hospitals that enhance emergency and pediatric departments to meet the unique needs of children. The hospital is certified to care for children of all ages in any pediatric emergency situation, as opposed to transferring patients to hospitals specializing in children's needs.

In addition to the certification, St. Elizabeths' is offering special rooms and new emergency services for children from noon to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Newborns to children age 18 will be assessed quickly and treated by specially trained hospital and nursing staff, all of whom specialize in pediatric emergency care.

Two pediatric physicians, Dr. Astrid Compton and Dr. Jennifer Ray, will work during the weekday hours dedicated to children.

The hope is children will be given a definitive diagnosis and appropriate treatment close to home, alleviating the need for these patients to be transferred to other facilities, according to Shelley Monheiser, the director of Emergency Services-Urgent Care at St. Elizabeth's

St. Elizabeth's previously had the EDAP certification from 1999-2002, but did not have the certification renewed.

"Recently, through ongoing evaluations of services, we felt it was the right time to go back for EDAP certification in order to serve the growing number of younger patients coming to the Emergency Department from our region," said Kelly Barbeau, hospital spokeswoman.

More than 100 hospitals in Illinois have the EDAP certification. Other metro-east hospitals also certified include: Memorial Hospital in Belleville, Anderson Hospital in Maryville, and St. Joseph's Hospital in Highland and Breese.

To qualify for certification, St. Elizabeth's Emergency Department met requirements including those for pediatric equipment, physician coverage, ongoing pediatric education and policies, and having a designated pediatric liaison nurse.

"Receiving EDAP certification demonstrates our commitment to meet the needs of ill and/or injured children, including those with special needs, right here in our community," Monheiser said.

The certification is monitored by Illinois Emergency Medical Services for Children, Loyola University Healthy System and the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Contact reporter Maria Hasenstab at mhasenstab@bnd.com or 618-239-2460.

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