Practice Matters

News from Lola Butcher about health policy and practice management issues of importance to oncologists

Monday, June 23, 2014

‘Cancer ED’ Being Built in Ohio

A cancer-specific emergency department is being planned in Ohio -- a 16-bed unit of the new emergency department at Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center will be dedicated to patients of OSU’s James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute, according to Columbus Business First.


The new ED -- part of a $1.1 billion medical center expansion -- will open in August, and the cancer-specific unit will follow next spring. Another huge part of the expansion is creation of the new James to replace the existing cancer hospital. 


The space allows patients to be separated from the general ED population when their immune systems are suppressed.  


Currently, about 8,400 cancer patients each year are treated in the medical center’s emergency department or admitted directly to the James by an emergency basis. Kris Kipp, executive director for patient service and chief nursing officer at the James, told reporter Carrie Ghose that the cancer-specific ED was justified because the hospital has a critical mass of more than 20 emergency cancer patients each day.

In conjunction with the dedicated space, emergency physicians will get extra training in cancer care, the article notes. They will work in the unit with oncology nurses.

OSU officials say they believe this is the first cancer-specific ED within a general ED in the country.