Capital Health Satellite Emergency Department to Close December 17
Declining Number of Patients, Non-Emergency Visits Cited as Reasons
Trenton, NJ (Nov. 15, 2013) – Capital Health announced today it has received approval from the New Jersey Department of Health to close its Satellite Emergency Department (SED) located on 433 Bellevue Avenue effective 11 p.m. on Tuesday December 17 as a result of declining utilization and non-emergent nature of patient visits.
“The majority of patients we see at the SED present with health issues that do not rise to the level of being classified as emergencies and can more appropriately be treated in a primary care setting,” said Eileen Horton, vice president of Patient Care and Chief Nursing Officer at Capital Health.
“Not only is it better for patients to develop relationships with primary care providers, but the cost for treatment in the emergency department setting is significantly greater than treatment provided in a physician’s office,” added Horton.
“We have been working closely with the Trenton Health Team and specifically Henry J. Austin Health Center to help patients understand where to go for non-emergency care. The goal, of course, is to encourage use of the city’s primary care providers as medical homes, where patients can receive on-going and more comprehensive care,” said Dr. Robert Remstein, vice president of Accountable Care at Capital Health and president of the Trenton Health Team.
According to Horton, visits to the SED declined from an average of 61 per day in November 2011 to 32 per day in March 2013, sometimes as few as 12 in a day. In approving the closure of the SED, the Department of Health said it “does not anticipate the closure of the SED would have an adverse impact on the City of Trenton since the two remaining Emergency Departments will continue providing treatment for area residents presenting with real emergencies.”
City residents in need of emergency care can be treated in the two closest emergency departments, the newly expanded Emergency Department at Capital Health Regional Medical Center on Brunswick Avenue or at St. Francis Medical Center on Hamilton Avenue. During the 30-day period leading up to the closure, Capital Health plans an extensive outreach plan to inform the community about the change.