BRADENTON -- A visit to the emergency room at Bradenton's Blake Medical Center, from walking in to discharge, averages just more than two hours -- exactly 135 minutes -- Blake's emergency department director said Tuesday.
Kevin Forsythe, who also is a registered nurse, told a crowd of 30 at a health fair at Summerfield Retirement Living, 3409 26th St. W., Bradenton, that Blake has been working to fall below the national average for an emergency room visit, which is between four and five hours.
Blake's ER time from walk-in to being admitted into a hospital room has also fallen to just under four hours -- exactly 223 minutes -- well below the national average of six hours, Forsythe said.
Manatee Memorial Hospital's arrival-to-discharge time is 150 minutes, said Vernon DeSear, hospital spokesman.
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"However, as this is volume-driven, we do have 20,000 more ER visits than Blake and 60 percent of the EMS patients," DeSears added.
DeSear said a statistic was not available for ER arrival-to-admission time for Manatee Memorial, but arrival-to-decision to admit is 230 minutes.
Forsythe was joined at the fair by Kim Becker, Carol Williams and Steve Bauer of Bradenton's Heritage Park Care & Rehabilitation Center; Kim Bodmer and Andrea Cole of Summerfield; and Judy Hall of Mederi Caretenders-Bradenton.
Forsythe's comments generated a buzz in the room.
"I was impressed that their focus is on decreasing wait times and that they have gotten results and that they are below the national average," Becker said.
Since Forsythe got to exclaim about his hospital, others received equal time.
Becker praised her employer, Heritage Park Care & Rehabilitation, for its new therapy gym at 2302 59th St. W., Bradenton, where patients can receive physical, occupational and speech therapy.
"It's a beautiful new facility and we are doing stroke balance and motion, endurance and strength training, orthopedics, pain management and vestibular rehab," Becker said. "We also have complimentary transportation."
Bodmer said Summerfield's "caring people" continue to make the facility a leader among Bradenton's assisted-living and memory-care facilities. Of Summerfield's 107 residents, 20 are Alzheimer's disease patients, Bodmer added.
Judy Hall of Mederi Caretenders-Bradenton, 3806 Manatee Ave. W., said her company specializes in home health care, which she referred to as "senior-care advocacy."
Caretenders, which serves Manatee, Pinellas, Sarasota, Pasco, Hernando and Citrus and Polk counties, provides intensive care in the home, including skilled nursing, physical occupational and speech therapy, a dietitian, nutritional consultation and home health aides, Hall said.
"We help people remain independent at home," she said, adding Medicare can pick up the tab for home health services.
The health officials all said the purpose of the fair, where resident weights and blood pressures were checked, was to help people plan for the future.
"You don't want to make these decisions while you are in crisis mode," Hall said.
Richard Dymond, Herald reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7072 or contact him via Twitter @RichardDymond.