Rush debuts first new Chicago ER residency in two decades – Health Care News

on Jul14

13 July 2017 | 10:30 am

Rush University Medical Center has launched a new residency program in emergency medicine that will ultimately train 36 new doctors at a time. It’s the first new ER residency in the city in two decades.

Illinois reports slightly fewer board-certified ER physicians than the national average. Nationwide, the state average is 13.5 ER doctors per 100,000 residents; Illinois has 12.1 per 100,000 residents, according to data provided to Crain’s by the American College of Emergency Physicians.

Rush’s emergency room currently handles about 75,000 annual visits, which provides the critical mass necessary to support a residency program, according to Dr. Braden Hexom, director of the new emergency management residency program.

“I came to Rush a year and a half ago to take a look, and I couldn’t believe this incredibly modern, efficient emergency room didn’t have a residency program,” says Hexom, who completed his own residency at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York. “It’s a rare opportunity to start a brand-new program from the ground up.”

Hexom says the program, which debuted July 1 with 12 residents, will focus on trauma and emergency care training as well as disaster planning and drills, an area in which Rush collaborates with city officials. The new doctors will train at Rush’s 40,000-square-foot emergency department that opened in 2012, when Rush debuted a $683 million patient tower on its Near West Side campus.

The residents will spend a large part of their first year in Rush’s simulation lab, which includes mannequins that breathe and bleed. They’ll spend just five hours per week in lecture, according to Hexom, because they need to learn by doing.

“It’s a beautiful space that’s been built over the past two years because we’re learning from other fields, like the airline industry,” he says. “We know that the more time you spend in a simulator rather than sitting and receiving information passively, the better the results.”

The residents will also work closely with other hospital units, gain experience with trauma cases through a partnership with nearby Stroger Hospital, part of Cook County Health and Hospitals System, and complete rotations at Rush Copley Medical Center in Aurora. In a nod to the future of health care, they’ll also collect data regarding numbers of patient visits and procedures, plus turnaround time, to learn to use analytics to measure efficiency and outcomes.

When the three-year program is fully staffed, it will be one of the largest residencies at Rush, Hexom says.

In all, there are nine emergency room residencies in Illinois and six in Chicago. University of Chicago, Northwestern University, University of Illinois, Stroger Hospital and Presence Resurrection Medical Center already have programs in the city, and Advocate Christ Medical Center operates one in Oak Lawn.

The new program is particularly important because despite health care systems’ efforts to contain costs by funneling patients away from the ER, the number of department visits continues to rise, and emergency rooms nationwide face a shortage of doctors board-certified in the specialty.

The number of annual ER visits across the country has grown rapidly over the past quarter-century, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Some 130.4 million visits took place in 2013, the most recent year for which CDC data is available. That figure—which translates to 4.2 visits per 100 Americans—represents more than a 45 percent increase from the 89.8 million visits that occurred in 1992.



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