SOMC Relocates Pediatric Services to Emergency DepartmentPosted on September 29, 2009

Southern Ohio Medical Center takes seriously an obligation to our patients to provide the highest quality of care. For the past 10 years, SOMC has cross-trained nursing staff to care for both adults and pediatrics. This is standard of care for a community our size.

“We want to provide our patients with excellent care at the highest safety standards. We have consulted our pediatricians and have determined that consolidating all pediatric care on the main campus to the Emergency Department, where the majority of our children are seen, makes sense,” said Claudia Burchett, Vice President of Patient Services and Chief Nursing Officer.

SOMC has and will also continue to care for children at the Urgent Care Center and the SOMC Healthcare Center.

SOMC treats approximately 25,000 children in the Emergency Department and Healthcare Center and at the Wheelersburg Urgent Care Center. Malissa Warrick, Nurse Manager of SOMC’s Orthopedic and Family Care Unit said an overwhelming majority of admitted patients were discharged within 24-hours. SOMC’s history and collaboration with Children’s Hospitals has significantly helped SOMC deliver the most appropriate care when needed.

At any point that a treating physician believes that a patient should be admitted as an inpatient, SOMC will arrange for admission to the appropriate unit or upon physician order, transfer to a specialized children’s hospital.

“SOMC physicians can admit patients under the age of 18 to one of our existing inpatient units when appropriate,” Burchett said. “Children that require procedures such as an appendectomy or tonsillectomy, will, as they always have, be cared for by our skilled nursing staff.”

“We have a staff of skilled clinicians who have been treating children for many years. The addition of the observation area will only heighten our focus on our pediatric patients,” said Jason Cheatham, DO, FACEP, Director of Emergency Department Operations at SOMC.

He said the majority of pediatric patients that present to the emergency room are treated and released.

“We truly have an amazing staff who have always been able to determine whether a child needs to be admitted or treated and released,” said George Pettit, MD, FACOG, Chief of Obstetrics and Gynecology at SOMC.

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