Freestanding emergency room opens in Olathe

By Jennifer Bhargava
Kansas City Star – May 5, 2015

Olathe has a new emergency room.

The new facility — the Overland Park Regional Medical Center ER of Olathe — opened near 135th Street and Black Bob last month. Last Saturday afternoon, the facility held an open house, inviting the public to learn a little more about its services.

Officials emphasized to the community that a freestanding emergency room is not an urgent care facility. It’s much more.

“Everything can be done here, it’s a typical ER,” said Ameet Deshmukh, one of the emergency medical physicians working at the new center. “It just doesn’t have the hospital attached.”

The HCA Midwest Health-owned facility, which is open 24/7, is equipped to deal with any medical emergency. So far, patients have ranged from stroke victims to children with sports-related fractures.

In addition to walk-in patients, ambulances bring patients from across the area.

The Overland Park Regional Medical Center ER of Olathe has board-certified emergency physicians. The facility, which is more than 10,000 square feet, features a CT scanner, full laboratory for blood and other tests, full radiology department, full-service pharmacy, trauma room, contamination room, isolation room, exam rooms and state-of-the-art technology.

If hospitalization is required, the ER transfers patients and health records to Overland Park Regional Medical Center in Overland Park, Deshmukh said.

His favorite part about a freestanding ER is that it alleviates stress for patients.

“It’s scary for a child to walk into an ER waiting room,” he said. “This is a more relaxing environment for anyone. It’s casual and not as chaotic. It gives a lot of focus on each patient.”

During the open house, a few members of the Olathe Fire Department were treated to a tour.

“This place is really amazing, like a mini-hospital,” said Fire Capt. Brian Chalfant. “This is the kind of innovative, progressive thinking that will benefit the citizens of Olathe.”

He doesn’t think HCA Midwest Health could have picked a better location.

“This side of Olathe is growing fast and it’s a very busy area now,” he said. “There are a lot of families, schools and soccer and baseball fields.”

In addition to the tour, firefighters showed off a fire truck to children at the open house. They also provided sidewalk CPR lessons to attendees.

Johnson County Med-Act also showed off an ambulance.

The Brain Injury Association of Kansas gave out free helmets, and child safety information was available from charlieshouse.org.

Several curious residents stopped by the event, eager to ask questions and take a look around.

The interest pleased Jamie Robinson, facility director.

The Olathe ER is only the second freestanding emergency room HCA has in the Kansas City area. The other is located in Shawnee at Shawnee Mission Parkway and Interstate 35.

Freestanding emergency rooms are starting to become popular across the country, Robinson said. Tennessee, Texas and Florida have them, she said.

She thinks their popularity is rising because people are starting to realize freestanding ER departments are more efficient and convenient.

“The wealth of expertise here is just phenomenal,” Robinson said. “We have a great staff. We get to put the heart and soul back into health care.”



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