Jun 21, 2011 7:19 PM by David Ortiviz
When there's an emergency, most of us head to the closest emergency room, but we've found some are willing to travel farther for what they consider faster service.
When 10-year old Mitchell Rodriguez got bit by a dog coming home from school, his mother Roberta drove from Pueblo to Parkivew's ER in Pueblo West. "We get in right away, hardly ever any waiting," said Rodriguez. Parkview's main ER in Pueblo was closer, but Roberta said that it is extremely busy and has a lot of waiting time.
It's a reputation earned by word of mouth. When patients from a Hazmat disaster last month in Pueblo needed medical help they drove further to go to the ER in Pueblo West. "It's not unusual to hear that," said Renee Elwell, Director of Emergency Services at both facilities. She says the main Parkview ER in Pueblo handles about 200 patients a day which is about four times the amount of traffic at Pueblo West.
"With a higher volume, you can expect that it's going to take a little bit longer," said Elwell. At Parkview Main, on average patients are there for about 3 hours--that's up to 50 minutes longer than typical visits in Pueblo West. However, although patients may experience a shorter stay at the ER in Pueblo West, Parkview says the quality of service is the same at both emergency rooms.
"There's really nothing that they can't do out there that we can't do here," said Elwell. Also when seconds count and you need immediate help, she says don't risk a longer drive. "If you're having an emergency medical condition you need to go to your closest ER." she said. She says the most critical patients get treated first at both locations.
There is one other distinction however, the facility in Pueblo West does not have an operating room so patients that require surgery or extended medical care will have to be transferred to Parkview Main.