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RiverView Health’s Emergency Department Sees Increase in Patients

Hospital news | Friday, April 28, 2023

While this winter and early spring were full of announcements of business and school closures due to what felt like never-ending blizzards, there's one service never mentioned in the cancelations – RiverView Health's Emergency Department (ED). Why? Because RiverView's ED NEVER closes.

As a matter of fact, according to Ashley Dufault, RN and Emergency Room coordinator, storm days are busier days for the 24/7/365 department. "When the weather is bad, we usually see an uptick in patients who normally go to the clinic. We also see more patients arriving by ambulance since they don't feel comfortable driving."

Winter and snow events also make for a busier department due to car and snowmobile accidents, falls on the ice, shoveling injuries, and falls from roofs while trying to decrease snow load.

Busier, More Serious 2023

With the abundance of winter weather in the first quarter of 2023, it's no surprise that Dufault, who has served in her role since July 2020, reports that the ED has been extra busy.

"We have seen a huge increase in strokes and trauma activations. We have been seeing a lot more very sick people."

In an effort to always provide the most up-to-date services, Dufault, also the manager of the Stroke Program and Trauma Program, reports that the department is currently switching its stroke patient protocol to the latest best practices. As an Acute Stroke Ready Hospital, RiverView can assess and treat potential stroke patients. The staff has advanced training in stroke care with a CT machine (used to obtain detailed internal images of the body noninvasively) to help diagnose acute strokes.

The department also works closely with the Minnesota Statewide Trauma System to continuously improve its lifesaving services.

Patients needing more advanced care are transferred by ground ambulance or air in a helicopter or fixed-wing airplane to specialty hospitals across Minnesota and North Dakota.

"We have great relationships with Crookston Area Ambulance, County EMS, and Red Lake Falls EMS for great continuity of care, as well as great relationships with Altru, Sanford Fargo, and Essentia Fargo when patients are needing a higher level of care."

Fully Staffed, Specially Trained

ED providers are Dr. Bosun Fashoro, Dr. Joe Dib, Dr. Ram Paneru, Dr. Nicole Lovat, Dr. Sarah May, Dr. Mathew Stayman, Dr. Matthew Viscito, Dr. Bryan Delage, and a full staff of specially trained nurses.

"Our nurses continue to be passionate about their work and always staying up to date on continuing education on stroke, trauma, sepsis, mental health, and all different types of patients to ensure our community is getting the best care possible."

Along with the ED and on-call general surgeons, Dr. Brett Vibeto, who is also the medical director of the Trauma Program, and Dr. Huy Nguyen, RiverView's Laboratory and Diagnostic Imaging Department also offer around-the-clock services.

Short wait times and less overcrowding than other facilities are important goals for the ED Team. The average patient spends less than two hours in RiverView's ED, Dufault reported.

"We pride ourselves on keeping wait times low and providing efficient patient care," she shared. "One of the benefits of coming to the RiverView Emergency Department is that the physicians can spend time with each patient and get a feel for their condition and needs. They can handle any adult or child illness or injury, from minor to complex."