LIMA — Sam Rahrig describes St. Rita’s Patient Flow Center as the “heartbeat of the hospital.”
“Everything comes through us,” said Rahrig, director of the patient flow center. “We sort it, and we send it to where it needs to go. It’s like an airport and a train station altogether.”
At the patient flow center, Rahrig and her 30 employees direct what floor/room patients go to, what level of care they need and if they need to be transported to another area or a separate hospital. They can also check to see which beds are available and which need to be cleaned. They can see all this from large computer monitors located at the center, or “the hub” as Rahrig called it.
The patient flow center also operates a Call-A-Nurse program for people with medical questions, and a tele-sitter station that can monitor up to 11 patients at one time. Employees of the center also handle payroll, scheduling and staffing.
It’s an important job for a hospital that admits an average of 41 patients through the emergency room in a 24-hour period, along with those who transfer from other hospitals or schedule appointments ahead of time.
“We handle any patient that comes into this hospital,” Rahrig said. “Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, there’s always someone down here.”
Reach John Bush at 567-242-0456 or on Twitter @bush_lima