Medical Center opens Tuesday
September 11, 2009
Usually, Kris Kemp, the director of the Park City Medical Center’s Emergency Department, waits for trouble to come to him. Last week he inadvertently ran right into it. Kemp and his family were attending an outdoor festival in Hooper when a powered parachute crashed into the crowd.
"I told my wife to grab the kids and I took off running toward the accident," he said. The victims, several of whom were flown to area hospitals, were lucky that Kemp, who has decades of training in emergency medicine, was close by.
As of Tuesday, though, Kemp may not have much time for festivals. After the Park City Medical Center at Quinn’s Junction officially opens Tuesday morning at 7 a.m., the doors to the emergency department will never be locked again.
The department includes four trauma bays and will be staffed around the clock by board-certified emergency physicians, he explained. The department will also take over the nighttime service previously operated by Intermountain Healthcare at the clinic on Bonanza Drive, making it the only local medical facility with staff on duty between 9 p.m. and 8 a.m. for those middle-of-the-night emergencies that require immediate medical attention.
While emphasizing that the two existing urgent-care facilities in Park City will continue "the phenomenal job that they are already doing," Kemp said the new hospital’s emergency department will provide a new level of services not offered previously without traveling to Salt Lake City. He said he hopes to have the facility certified as a Level 4 Trauma Center allowing the physicians to treat more serious emergencies like heart attacks or strokes.
Kemp said he expects the department to see a fair share of orthopedic injuries due to the recreational nature of the community, but also anticipates a lot of the usual emergency-room fare like chest and abdominal pains. Either way, he is confident the staff will be well trained and, thanks to the new hospital’s high-tech diagnostic tools, well equipped to deal with any emergency.
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Kemp, who admits to being an avid snowboarder, said he jumped at the chance to head up Intermountain’s new hospital in Park City. He is trained in wilderness medicine and worked a stint during his residency at Park City Mountain Resort’s ski-patrol clinic. He has since done tours of duty at two Level Two trauma centers in Utah
Even if the first patient doesn’t arrive right when the doors open on Tuesday, Kemp said his staff will be busy running drills and training.
Elsewhere in the center, according to hospital spokesperson Amy Roberts, 10 surgeries are already scheduled for the opening day and all of the hospital’s services except labor and delivery will be available beginning Tuesday. Those services, Roberts said, include: surgery, physical therapy, family and internal medicine, orthopedic care, plastic and general surgery, cardiac care, pediatrics and radiology. Due to a delay in receiving some new equipment, however, the labor and delivery department opening has been delayed until Oct. 5.
The Park City Medical Center is located at Quinn’s Junction and can be reached by calling 658-7000.
In an emergency:
If you need a doctor right now, in the Park City area there are two urgent care clinics and, as of Tuesday, a 24-hour emergency department where you can go for immediate help. Park City, North and South Summit also have round-the-clock ambulance service that can be accessed via 911.
If you aren’t sure where to go, here are some guidelines. In general, according to Dr. Kris Kemp, director of the Emergency Department at the Park City Medical Center, extremity injuries, runny noses and earaches should be handled by a primary care physician or by an urgent care clinic. If someone suspects a heart attack, internal injury or stoke, an emergency room may be more appropriate.
If you are transported by ambulance you will be asked if you have a preferred hospital or clinic based on your primary care physician or insurance, or you will be taken to the nearest facility based on the severity of your medical situation.
When you arrive at the clinic or hospital, be prepared to list any medications you are taking, existing medical conditions and allergies.
According to Shanae Thornton of Snow Creek, patients may also want to consult their health insurance policies when considering where to go in an emergency as most policies charge a higher co-pay for a visit to an emergency room than they do for an urgent care clinic.