The Department of Emergency Medicine at Advocate Christ Medical Center is designated a Level I trauma center by the state of Illinois. It is one of six Level I trauma centers in the Chicago area and the only one on Chicago's South Side. The medical center sees nearly 78,000 patients through the emergency department a year. Christ Medical Center also receives pediatric patients requiring advanced care. Those who require inpatient care are admitted to Advocate Hope Children's Hospital, located on the Christ Medical Center campus.
Critical care is provided in state-of-the-art cardiac, medical, surgical, neurological, pediatric and neonatal intensive care units and several telemetry units.
The emergency department at Christ Medical Center is organized as an autonomous medical staff department. Administratively this equates the emergency department with any other department. The department is staffed by nearly 30 full-time, hospital-based attending physicians. All are residency-trained in emergency medicine. Full-time faculty coverage is augmented by part-time emergency medicine residency-trained physicians. Attending staff is present in the emergency department 24 hours a day, with two to seven attendings present totaling 110 hours a day. This ensures easy access to the staff and ample opportunity for resident-attending interaction.
The Christ Medical Center emergency department is located in a state-of-the-art facility occupying 29,000 square feet. The facility includes dedicated trauma, medical resuscitation, critical care, OB/GYN, ophthalmologic, ENT, observation and fast track areas. It is also home to dedicated emergency cardiac and pediatric centers.
The majority of patients coming to the emergency department have a private physician on the Christ Medical Center staff; however, while these patients are in the emergency department, their care is the responsibility of the emergency department physicians. Therefore, the emergency department staff assesses and manages patients with true emergencies, less acute illnesses or injuries requiring admission and varied outpatient problems.
Payor mix for patients treated and released from the Emergency Department is 53 percent managed care, 8.8 percent Medicare, 18.6 percent Medicaid and 19.6 percent other.
Christ Medical Center is among the busiest emergency departments in Illinois with acuity rates much higher than the national average. The emergency department admits 28 percent to 30 percent of the patients seen. Also, 30 percent to 33 percent of cases seen in the Emergency Department are under age 20. Recognizing this high volume, the department supports three faculty members who are board certified in pediatrics and emergency medicine and a dedicated pediatric emergency center.
The emergency department has access to many ancillary services. Emergency department laboratory requests are treated in a "stat" manner. Two CT scanners are located adjacent to the emergency department, where emergency patients receive priority. A radiologist is present around the clock to review all emergency radiologic procedures and provide consultation to the staff. Social workers and chaplains also are available in the emergency department 24 hours a day.
The pre-hospital emergency medical service is an integral part of Christ Medical Center. The Emergency Department is responsible for the medical direction and training of paramedics. Emergency medicine residents:
- Provide field medical direction via telemetry radio to paramedics for 24 fire departments and ambulance companies
- Give didactic instruction in the paramedic training course and clinical supervision to paramedics rotating in the Emergency Department
- Gain field experience by riding with paramedics