KVH Director of Emergency Services Dede Utley, Rotary Club of Ellensburg Downtown President Patrick Garmong, The Foundation at KVH Director Michele Wurl, Community Foundation of Kittitas County CEO Bob Crowe, KVH CEO Julie Petersen

In early September, the Emergency Department at KVH Hospital introduced a new offering for young patients called Ouchless ER. The original concept was brought forward as a way to make a visit to the Emergency Department friendlier for children. That concept was embraced by local community groups, foundations, business owners and residents who worked together to turn the original vision into a functioning program.

The Rotary Club of Ellensburg Downtown hosted a champagne brunch over Labor Day Weekend in support of the project. Rotary Club members organized sponsorship donations from 21 local businesses that resulted in a total donation of $5,500 to the Ouchless ER fund. The Community Foundation of Kittitas County provided an additional $5,000 in matching funds.

The Ouchless ER was one component of The Foundation at KVH’s 2017 annual campaign. The campaign focused on improving the overall experience for pediatric patients at Kittitas Valley Healthcare services. The annual Foundation gala in May 2017 raised just under $30,000.

In-kind donations were provided by Wood Products Northwest for cabinetry and other improvements to Emergency Room 8. Local artist Lucy Beck donated her time to paint a colorful and cheerful mural within the primary pediatrics treatment room.

Ouchless ER Overview

The Ouchless ER focuses on three E’s to make visits as painless and anxiety-free as possible. These include the environment, equipment and education.

Environment improvements include a child-friendly mural and the concealment of frightening-looking medical equipment inside cabinets.

New equipment helps take the pain out of procedures. Examples include the Buzzy Bee (an ice and vibration device that reduces pain for injections), the use of adhesive glue instead of stitches when possible, and an Accuvein device to make vein location easy if an IV is needed.

Education focuses on training from child life specialists to teach or refresh staff about age-appropriate ways to reduce stress and anxiety. In many cases, simple distractions are used to focus the child’s attention away from the treatment they are receiving.

For more information about Ouchless ER at KVH Hospital visit http://www.kvhealthcare.org/hospital-services/emergency-department/ouchlesser.