Hasbro Children’s Hospital opens new short-stay unit

December 5, 2016

Hasbro Children’s Hospital has opened a new Pediatric Clinical Decision Unit (CDU) adjacent to the Hasbro Children’s Hospital Emergency Department. The six-bed “short-stay” unit will serve pediatric patients with acute conditions that often require treatment followed by a period of observation and clinical collaboration, often with a specialist.

Patients who may benefit from the new unit include those with asthma, gastroenteritis and dehydration, cellulitis, falls, pain, seizures and headaches or allergic reactions. The average length of stay for a Pediatric CDU patient is 12 to 24 hours.

The new short-stay beds will help open up acute care beds in the emergency department for new patients and improve the overall turnaround time and flow of the emergency department, as well as reduce the rate of patients leaving without being seen.

“In general, many pediatric patients who require hospitalization for acute medical conditions recover quickly and are discharged within 24 hours,” said Lynn Pittsinger, RN, MSN, director of pediatric emergency services at Hasbro Children’s Hospital. “There are thousands of patients each year spending hours upon hours in the emergency department, or going through the lengthy process of inpatient hospitalization followed by same-day discharge.”

Over the last several years, pediatric emergency department use and overcrowding has steadily increased across the country. Pediatric emergency patients are often healthy, having single medical problems prompting their emergency visits, and medical conditions that require shorter hospital stays. Only about 15 percent of pediatric emergency room visits result in inpatient admissions.

“In observation units, efficient care delivery is achieved through frequent reassessment and timely discharge processes,” said Frank Overly, M.D., medical director of the Hasbro Children’s Hospital emergency department. “These units have been shown to have low rates of return visits and readmissions. Most importantly, observation units have been shown to reduce crowding by decreasing inpatient admissions and length of emergency department stay, improving efficiency, and increasing rates of patient and staff satisfaction.”

Also part of the renovation is the addition of a family room with comfortable seating, computer and Wi-Fi access and a quieter, more peaceful environment for parents to rest while their child is under observation. The room is readily accessible from the CDU, so families remain close to their child and the medical care team.

“As a family-centered care organization we consider the impact of a child’s hospitalization on the family as well,” said Tracey Wallace, vice president of pediatric services at Lifespan. “Studies have shown that there is a direct correlation between the emotional health of a parent during their child’s medical crisis and the recovery of the child.”

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