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Howard Memorial Hospital's Emergency Department is Awarded New Designation

General

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: January 17, 2013

Contact: Kristen McCallum
Marketing Specialist
(707)-456-3127

 

Willits, CA
After years of serving the community as a standby emergency department, Frank R. Howard Memorial Hospital (HMH) has been awarded basic emergency department status. While this may not sound like much, it represents an important step in the future of the hospital.

 After years of serving the community as a standby emergency department, Frank R. Howard Memorial Hospital (HMH) has been awarded basic emergency department status. While this may not sound like much, it represents an important step in the future of the hospital.

In California, hospital emergency rooms are typically classified as either standby or basic. Standby ERs must have a physician available to care for patients within a certain amount of time, while basic ERs must have a physician on site 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Standby ERs do not have to have specialists on-call to see ER patients all the time, while basic ERs must have a “call schedule” that demonstrates full specialty coverage 24/7.

Although HMH has met the requirements to be a basic ER for years, we recently completed the process required to be recognized by the State of California. HMH Emergency Department Manager Amy Buckingham, RN, CEN, said, "Being recognized as a basic ER formalizes the way we've been working and opens the door for additional services."

With a basic ER, HMH can serve as a base station for ambulances serving Willits, Covelo, and Laytonville. This formalizes the medical oversight that HMH has for patients being transported to its facility. A basic ER designation also paves the way for higher level trauma designations and stroke accreditation.

The new hospital, scheduled to open in 2015, will feature a helipad which will allow HMH to receive air ambulances rather than flying patients further south for hospital care. During some medical emergencies, a few minutes can mean the difference between life and death.

"We're pleased with the State's recognition of our new ER status and plan to compile the data necessary to prove that we are ready to take on more trauma cases," said HMH CEO Rick Bockmann.