Tuning in to Seamless Emergency Care in Sussex

The running joke surrounding Walt Palmer is that he’s accidentprone. That’s likely due to the fact that he’s a busy man. Palmer is the director of Broadcast Operations, Engineering and Programming at 92.7 FM in Rehoboth Beach. He also runs two small businesses with his wife in downtown Milton. Palmer and his wife have lived in the Lewes area for the last 30 years. They moved here from the Washington, DC metro area where they both worked in broadcast news.

Palmer was one of the first patients in the Bayhealth Outpatient Center, Sussex Campus when it first opened in February 2019. “I had to undergo some cardiac testing,” said Palmer. “I remember being one of the first patients. It was pretty cool to see the new facility and experience the new way they were taking care of patients.”

During that appointment, Palmer signed up for Bayhealth’s patient portal, MyChart. He was pleasantly surprised by how easy it was to sign up and how quickly he could view the reports regarding his outpatient visit. “I thought it was pretty cool to have that access,” said Palmer.

Just one month later, Palmer found himself back at the Bayhealth Sussex Campus. This time he was visiting the Emergency and Trauma Center. “I live just about four miles from another hospital, but after having such a good experience at the Bayhealth Outpatient Center at the Sussex Campus, I expected I would have a good experience at the emergency department too,” said Palmer.

Palmer has osteoporosis. After rolling over in his sleep, he injured two of his ribs. Once the pain reached the point of being agonizing, he decided to be seen at the emergency department. “From the time I walked in, I immediately felt well taken care of,” said Palmer. “Someone from the environmental services team saw me enter and made sure I got to the right location. Check-in was a breeze. I waited maybe 10 minutes before I was seeing a nurse. I also had a nice private area in the emergency department while I was being seen.”

After an evaluation, Palmer was taken for X-rays. He was impressed by how easy it was to navigate from the emergency department to the imaging area. And that is no coincidence.

“One of the great aspects of building the Bayhealth Hospital, Sussex Campus was being able to systematically decide where key departments should be located,” said Julianne Wysocki Broadwater, DO, medical director of the Bayhealth Emergency and Trauma Center, Sussex Campus. “We intentionally made sure imaging services were located adjacent to the emergency department to help both patients and the staff taking care of them. The patients have just a short trip to get to imaging. As a physician, I can closely monitor imaging while staying close to my unit and other patients.”

Fortunately, Palmer’s imaging showed nothing was broken. Dr. Wysocki Broadwater said in Palmer’s situation, it’s better to be safe than sorry. “Anyone who experiences a fall or injury should be evaluated if they are having ongoing pain,” said Dr. Wysocki Broadwater. “It’s better to be checked and find everything is okay rather than to have a major injury that goes without care.”

The Bayhealth Sussex Campus is conveniently located right off Route 1. The convenience of the Sussex Campus is important to Palmer. “I’ve been coming to this area since I was a child with my parents,” said Palmer. “My wife and I decided to move here 30 years ago because we would be close to several medical facilities. My parents lived in rural Virginia. It was 45 minutes to the nearest hospital. That didn’t sit well with me as they got older. To know now that the new Bayhealth Sussex Campus is just 20 minutes from us is comforting.”

Learn more about how the Bayhealth Sussex Campus was built for its patients by checking out the Built Around You edition of the Healthwaves Newsletter.

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