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  •  Rome Memorial Hospital names new director of Emergency Department

    Kelly West, R.N., has been appointed director of the Emergency Department at Rome Memorial Hospital, announced Durinda Durr, MS, RN, Vice President Clinical Services/Chief Nursing Officer.
    “Kelly has demonstrated her exceptional leadership skills as the Emergency Department’s nurse manager and is recognized by the providers and staff for her clinical expertise and her commitment to delivering high quality, patient-centered care,” Durr said. “Kelly leads by example and displays her passion for her profession through her actions and her ability to unite people in pursuit of a common goal by encouraging their participation in decision-making.”
    West has served as nurse manager of the Emergency Department for five years. She joined Rome Memorial Hospital in 2007, upon graduation from the Mohawk Valley Community College nursing program.
    “I am excited by the opportunity to help advance the vision of Rome Memorial Hospital and the potential for growth in the availability and quality of care for patients in our community,” West said, “I want to advance the goals of the hospital in the Emergency Department so that we can continue to work together to be an integral part of the compassionate, connected care our patients rely on at Rome Memorial Hospital.”
    In 2016, nearly 30,700 patients, or about 3,000 per month, were seen in the Emergency Department at Rome Memorial Hospital. In her new position, West will be responsible for a staff of 62 clinical care providers. West said that she has some ideas and plans for the department to assure that patients seen in the emergency room receive excellent clinical care within the best timeframe possible.
    Input from her staff is important to West in developing strategies for providing the best care to patients. “We have developed an environment where staff members are encouraged to provide recommendations and insight to Emergency Department processes and workflow,” she explained. “It is through their recommendations that we have been able to make the most significant improvements in the excellent care that our staff is committed to delivering 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.”
    West readily understands the importance of continuing education for her staff and plans to work to make educational opportunities more accessible to them. “Currently we have several registered nurses who have their CEN (Certified Emergency Nurse) National Certification,” West said. “I would like to increase that number by bringing advanced certification classes here to Rome Memorial Hospital, making it easier for our nurses to get the training.
    When she first started her nursing career at Rome Memorial Hospital, West participated in the hospital’s RN Bridge Program, which provided extended training to new nursing graduates and one-on-one support from veteran nurses. Nurses in the program spent half-day rotations in different hospital departments, including operating room, ICU and the emergency department, to name a few.
    “The Bridge Program allowed me to have a better understanding of the challenges faced in different departments of the hospital and gave me the tools needed to successfully meet those challenges,” West explained. “I know that those experiences, and being able to learn from other nurses, has been a great asset to my career in the Emergency Department.”
    West said that she also feels that her staff has a lot to offer other departments in the hospital and she wants to foster the exchange of experience and knowledge throughout the hospital’s critical care staff.
    “I want members of my staff to become active participants in committees focused on improving patient satisfaction and providing the highest level of compassionate care,” West said.
    West said that she is proud of the effort in place at Rome Memorial Hospital to assure the highest quality care is available to the community and she is extremely proud to be leading the dedicated staff of the Emergency Department.
    For example, the hospital is recognized for its success in implementing a protocol for a ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction (STEMI), a very serious type of heart attack during which one of the heart’s major arteries is blocked. The protocol ensures swift diagnostic testing and coordination with EMS and collaborating heart centers so cardiac patients receive the life-saving interventions that they need.
    “As a community hospital, our goal is early recognition, stabilization, and swift transfer so the patient has a greater chance of surviving a cardiac event,” West said. “We consistently perform better than the benchmark. From the moment the patient arrives in the Emergency Department to the time they arrive at the collaborating hospital, our goal is 30 minutes because every minute counts.”
    The Emergency Department is also at the forefront of mobilizing resources for early identification and management of patients with sepsis, which is caused by complications from serious infections that can lead to organ failure and death. Similar to the cardiac initiative, the protocol for early intervention for sepsis patient was based upon leveraging best practices, collaboration and staff education.
    “Rome Memorial Hospital is my home, I cannot imagine working anywhere else,” West said. “Working in an emergency department can be stressful, but being able to work with the amazing staff here is what makes my job a joy.”
    West and her husband, Michael, reside in McConnellsville with their three sons, Gage, Dakota and Ryeland.

    Kelly West 
    Kelly West, RN