emergency room

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

A new sobering center opens next month at a homeless shelter in Providence. It’s a place where inebriated people who would typically be brought to the emergency room can safely sober up. It's meant to save money and guide those patients toward recovery.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Hasbro Children’s Hospital researcher Dr. Megan Ranney says nearly a quarter of the teens in a recent study reported signs of post-traumatic stress disorder. Ranney surveyed more than 350 teenagers who landed in Hasbro’s emergency room for various reasons. She says she was surprised by the high rate of PTSD symptoms, and she believes it relates to cyber-bullying.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

On this Thanksgiving day, most Rhode Islanders are enjoying a big meal and time with family and friends. But there’s no time off for the state’s emergency departments – ready around the clock to treat whatever comes their way. 

Rhode Island Hospital emergency department director Dr. David Portelli says that’s usually kitchen accidents, and the results of overindulgence. “When we do look at the numbers, we do see there’s more lacerations – about three times as many by percent – and some more episodes of congestive heart failure.”

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Plans to establish a center where people can go to sober up, instead of the emergency room, have languished for lack of state funding. But a renewed effort to launch the program is underway.

A new documentary about the evolution of emergency medicine airs tonight (MONDAY) on Rhode Island public television. The documentary was produced by a Rhode Island-born ER doctor and inspired by Rhode Island Hospital’s emergency medicine chief.

Before the 1970s, there was no 911. No ambulance service like we know today. Emergency medicine, says Dr. Mark Brady, wasn’t even a specialty until 1979.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

A six-month-old program to help overdose survivors get connected with addiction treatment is getting some results, according to the state’s behavioral health agency. The program puts recovery coaches on call in emergency rooms throughout Rhode Island to reach out to survivors before they’re sent home.

The recovery coaches are trained peer counselors, in recovery from addiction themselves. They try to link overdose survivors with addiction treatment, and educate them about preventing another overdose.

A new program aims to connect people who have accidentally overdosed on opioids with addiction treatment – before they leave the emergency room. The state’s largest nonprofit mental health service organization, The Providence Center, is providing what it calls “recovery coaches” to Kent Hospital through a program called AnchorED.

Fatima Hospital is now posting on its web site the approximate wait time to be seen in the emergency room. But lots of factors could change that wait time.

Rhode Island Hospital and the entire Lifespan network have announced new guidelines for prescribing painkillers in their emergency rooms. ER doctors are trying to address the growing problem of prescription drug abuse and addiction.

Imagine riding in an ambulance without heat. That’s apparently been the reality for some people who use the New England Ambulance Company.  The state Health Department is putting a stop to the practice.

The Rhode Island Health Department has ordered the New England Ambulance Company to stop running vehicles without heat.  The department says it will issue fines of 100 dollars a day if the Johnston firm continues to do so.

The Waiting Room project

Last night I watched the beautifully crafted documentary "The Waiting Room." It captures 24 hours in a single hospital's waiting room, following the stories of a diverse cast of patients and staff. There's no narration except how the characters tell their own stories and how those weave into the larger story this documentary tells.

The Providence Center has received a $1.7 million dollar federal grant to try to help people with mental health problems avoid the emergency room.  The program could help hospitals, and the state, slash some of the most expensive medical bills.      

RIPR

The 2013 session of the Rhode Island General Assembly has officially,finally, wrapped up. With that, we turn to Rhode Island Public Radio’s health care reporter Kristin Gourlay for a recap of some of the most significant health legislation to pass and not pass  and how it might affect you.

DAVE: So much happening in health care now in Rhode Island and nationally – from the implementation of the Affordable Care Act to rising health care prices. Did legislators tackle any of these big issues this session?

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Perhaps you remember hearing or reading about a plan to divert so-called "frequent fliers" - meaning frequently intoxicated emergency room users - from ERs to some kind of sobering center?

Medical School / Tufts University

Roger Williams Medical Center and Fatima Hospital have opened what they say are the state’s first emergency rooms designed to take better care of the elderly.

Hospital officials say it’s taken a year to renovate and retrofit both emergency rooms so that the physical environments are safer and more welcoming for seniors. Think non-skid floors, large print hospital forms, and portable devices to help the hard of hearing.

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