Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital, at 23900 I-10, Katy, increased the operating hours of its pediatric emergency center and pediatric inpatient unit to 24 hours a day starting Jan. 1, according to an emailed press release and a spokesperson. Previously, the department operated for 12 hours a day.
This expansion was pursued to offer another emergency pediatric option for the booming population in West Houston, said Heath Rushing, senior vice president and CEO of Memorial Hermann Katy and Memorial Hermann Cypress Hospital.
“As Katy continues to grow, it needs more access points for round-the-clock care, available for all ages, closer to home,” Rushing said in press release. “Emergency medical situations occur at every hour of the day and how those are addressed can differ between adults and children. We are able to provide emergency care for all ages at all hours.”
Malissa Gonzalez, the director of emergency services for Memorial Hermann Katy, agreed.
“Katy residents would rather spend [their] time in the ER in Katy than travel to downtown Houston for care,” she said in an interview.
Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital's pediatric emergency center and inpatient unit has three rooms to care for children.[/caption]
To expand the hours, the hospital hired nearly 10 additional full-time nurses to staff the pediatric emergency center and pediatric inpatient unit, which includes three beds and two extra for overflow in the main emergency center if needed, Gonzalez said.
Pediatric emergency care differs from other emergency care options in that it has smaller-sized equipment to treat children and is staffed by nurses and physicians trained specifically for working with children, according to the release.
“Having physicians and nurses specially trained to treat a patient with ... physiological differences increases the likelihood of a child receiving the most appropriate level of care in the most efficient and compassionate manner possible,” Linda Stephens, vice president and chief nursing officer at Memorial Hermann Katy, said in the release.
The average stay in Memorial Hermann Katy’s pediatric ER is about two hours, Gonzalez said. And if a child requires higher care not provided at the Katy hospital, the child can be transferred to Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital or Red Duke Trauma Institute at Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center’s Level I trauma center, according to the release.
Other 24/7 pediatric ER options in the Katy-area include the Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus, at 18200 I-10, Houston. This hospital has 26 beds, according to its website. Additionally, Texas Children’s Hospital West opened a new urgent care location at 18200 I-10, Ste. WD-200, Houston, for children in need of nonemergency care.