Aspen Valley Hospital’s Emergency Department is exceeding expectations

Rendering of the Resnick Family Emergency Department.

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Deborah Breen, President & CEO Aspen Valley Hospital Foundation

Thanks to Aspen Valley Hospital’s (AVH) top-notch technology and board-certified emergency and other attending physicians, exceeding expectations is what the emergency department does best. Emergency services available are very diverse, allowing AVH to manage the full-spectrum of care for over 98% of the patients who present for treatment. However, when there is a particularly complicated case, AVH has connectivity to major medical centers around Colorado and can expedite transfers when needed.

According to Dr. Steven Ayers, a seasoned member of the emergency department’s team of six full-time, board-certified physicians, the limited cases that get transferred out for highly specialized care represent only a small percentage of the patients who seek emergency care. Patients who need to be transferred are carefully evaluated, and specific protocols are followed when making the decision. Examples of the kinds of services that are not performed at AVH include treatment of severe brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, critical pediatric services, interventional radiology, and interventional cardiac testing or surgery. In addition, there are also very stringent guidelines for delivering babies at altitude, particularly when gestation is less than 36 weeks. In these cases, as well as for infants needing neonatal intensive care, AVH partners with regional medical centers. While transfers are rare, AVH nurses have high-level certifications in trauma care, including specialized training in stabilizing patients for transport.

Last year, over 8,000 patients were treated in the emergency department and over 200 babies were born, with less than 2% needing to be transferred to a larger facility. While the technology and talent are already well-positioned at AVH, all caregivers and community members share in the excitement as we look forward to opening the new Resnick Family Emergency Department later this year. In addition to an all-private room design, the emergency department will feature an enlarged family waiting area, a state-of- the-art trauma treatment suite, and immediate connectivity to the rooftop helipad. In addition, the dedicated ambulance entrance will facilitate incoming patients, as well as those needing transport to the airport, should a fixed-wing aircraft, rather than a helicopter, be necessary.

Aspen Valley Hospital Foundation has now reached the $36.1 million mark in its quest to secure $60 million in philanthropy to ensure the master facilities plan (which includes the new Resnick Family Emergency Department) is completed. We hope that our community continues to be inspired to support this important endeavor.