The Department of Emergency Medicine prides itself in providing outstanding care for all patients. We are particularly focused on providing care to patients who are the most critically ill or injured. For example, patients who suffer from cardiac arrest, heart attacks, strokes, and acute traumatic injuries.
Here are just a few of our certifications and awards:
- Level II Trauma Center
- Regional Burn Center for the Rocky Mountain region
- Nationally Certified Comprehensive Stroke Center
- AHA Mission Lifeline Gold aware for STEMI (Heart Attack) Patient Care
For more information, see the Critical Care & Resuscitation site.3
The Department of Emergency Medicine maintains disaster preparedness through our outstanding facilities and frequent trainings. We maintain a close relationship with our local EMS agencies, including Aurora Fire and Denver Health. Our helipad receives EMS helicopter transport traffic from destinations throughout the Rocky Mountain region.
The Department of Emergency Medicine provides emergency (disaster) management preparedness and response activities in many areas. Academically, we do research in emergency management with other CU Denver schools and the Colorado School of Public Health. We have provided training across the state of Colorado for emergency responders from many different health and emergency management agencies.
Faculty help direct emergency management at both the UCH and DHMC hospital systems.
We provide input and guidance for many different regional, state, and national preparedness committees. Several faculty are members of federal disaster medical assistance teams (DMAT).
For more information, see the EMS & Disaster site.4
Fellowships based at University of Colorado
Fellowships based at Denver Health
Fellowships based at Children's Hospital Colorado
The Department of Emergency Medicine is commited to developing emergency care and improving health outcomes beyond the borders of the United States. Our faculty, fellows, residents, and medical students are actively engaged in a spectrum of ethical and innovative global health activities, spanning the domains of public health, pre- and in-hospital clinical medicine, advocacy, and prevention in multiple settings internationally.
Clinical/Service: Trainees in emergency medicine participate in learning the provision of clinical emergency care in a myriad of international settings, including sub-Saharan Africa, and Central and South America. Under the guidance of in-country physicians and mentorship of University of Colorado faculty, our trainees have the opportunity to care for a variety of local disease patterns, broadening their depth of knowledge.
Education: Global health education, delivered by our core global health faculty, occurs both domestically and internationally. Resident education includes journal clubs, to stay abreast of current international developments, and mentorship, to both foster engaging and ethical clinical experiences and provide guidance in developing and participating in sound research endeavors. In South Africa, for example, University of Colorado medical students and Emergency Medicine residents have been working side-by-side with emergency care providers since 2002. In Peru, residents have had opportunities to participate in clinical bedside teaching, didactics, and ultrasound education. The Department of Emergency Medicine has also established a two-year post-residency fellowship in Global Emergency Medicine and Public Health, slated to begin in the fall of 2016.
Internationally, our global health faculty have designed, implemented, and scaled up innovative educational emergency and disaster medicine courses with multiple international partners in resource-constrained settings such as Ethiopia, Ghana, Haiti, Kenya, Peru, South Africa, and Tanzania. Faculty work closely with the Colorado School of Public Health’s Center for Global Health and the University of Colorado School of Medicine (UCSOM) in educational opportunities, projects abroad, and mentorship, including direction of the UCSOM Global Health track.
Research: Faculty and residents are actively engaged in cutting-edge global health research. Research includes assessing pre- and in-hospital patient outcomes, effective emergency care interventions, and community health and capacity building strategies. Our faculty and residents frequently present and disseminate findings in domestic and international scientific meetings.
For more information, see the Global Health site.5
The Department of Emergency Medicine is developing a new, innovative Clinical Informatics focus that translates into improved outcomes for all of its patients. Our data-driven, patient-centered approach has touched nearly every care process in the Emergency Department, revolutionizing and re-inventing how we deliver patient care. Our team of clinical informaticians work hand-in-hand to bring together research, analytics, and artificial intelligence to pave the way for future innovation and research in the area.
For more information, see the Informatics site.6
The Department of Emergency Medicine, with support provided by the WELLS Simulation Center, utilizes high-fidelity mannequins, standardized patients, task trainers, and associated technologies to support both the educational and quality missions of the department.
Simulation-based education is incorporated into several elements of the resident curriculum. Residents collectively participate in simulation at various times throughout the year as part of their didactic curriculum. Simulation-based training scenarios include complex and/or rare life-threatening cardiovascular, metabolic, infectious, traumatic, and toxicologic emergencies for both adult and pediatric patients. In the third-year, emergency medicine residents rotating at University Hospital are provided personalized instruction with dedicated simulation instruction. During this longitudinal simulation experience, residents lead a multi-disciplinary resuscitation team that includes pharmacists and nursing staff in the care of critical patients. Realism is enhanced with actors serving as ancillary staff, patients, or family members in a simulated emergency department resuscitation suite within which training scenarios unfold. Time dedicated to simulation-based training improves resident clinical decision-making and leadership skills.
To support the ongoing quality improvement initiatives of the department, Rapid Training Events (RTEs) utilizing simulation occur unannounced approximately monthly to test various pathways of clinical care. These inter-professional simulation events involve the entire team (nursing, physicians, techs, pharmacy, respiratory therapy, and social work, amongst others), and many involve other disciplines relevant to the case such as EMS, trauma, OB/GYN, and NICU. These simulations are designed to improve role clarity and communication, and heighten the expertise of our clinical teams by presenting challenging cases. In addition, these events serve both to identify latent safety threats and propose potential solutions whenever possible. Modifications to policies, new pathways, and equipment introduced are then tested in real time to ensure solutions are functional.
For more information, see the Simulation site.12
The Department of Emergency Medicine’s Sports Medicine group has obtained a specialized level of knowledge regarding musculoskeletal injuries, health promotion, physical fitness, and nutrition. The goal is to help patients continue to pursue a healthy life through exercise and serve our patients by expediting their care beyond the Emergency Department. At University of Colorado Hospital, we work closely with sports medicine physicians in many other primary specialties, including family medicine, pediatrics, PM&R, and orthopedics. We hope to serve our patients by expediting their care beyond the Emergency Department Academically, we work with emergency medicine (EM) residents to help augment their orthopedic and musculoskeletal education. Future goals include establishing an EM-based fellowship position, and the development of a residency track for those interested in sports medicine.
For more information, see the Sports Medicine site.7
The Department of Emergency Medicine’s Toxicology and Pharmacology specialty is the academic unit in the University of Colorado School of Medicine for Medical toxicology staff at Denver Health (including the Rocky Mountain Poison and Drug Center), Children’s Hospital Colorado, and the University of Colorado Hospital.
Our vision is to enhance the care of poisoned patients by training specialists in toxicology, investigating new treatments, and ensuring that patient care is guided by providers with specialized training.
For more information, see the Toxicology page.8
The new University of Colorado Travel, Expedition and Altitude Medicine (TEAM) clinic is a collaborative venture that combines experts from the Division of Infectious Disease, the Department of Emergency Medicine, the Altitude Research Center and The Children’s Hospital to provide comprehensive advice and treatment for all medical issues associated with travel and altitude.
The TEAM Clinic treats individuals and families of all ages by providing routine pre-travel advice for the prevention of altitude and travel-related illness to healthy individuals. Our providers have unique expertise in the treatment of populations with complex medical issues including children, those with compromised immune systems, pregnant women, elderly patients and those with cardiopulmonary disease. Our goal is simple: to assist patients in staying healthy and well while traveling abroad or to the world’s high places.
Highlights of what we do:
Joint venture between EM, ID, Children’s Hospital
Routine pre-travel consultations and vaccinations
Pre-travel or pre-expedition
Alt and Chronic medical conditions
The strange and bizarre
Thus far patients from 4 states
For more information, see the Travel, Expedition and Altitude Medicine site. 11
The Department of Emergency Medicine’s Point-of-Care Ultrasound is an integral part of the safe, time-efficient, and cost-effective care of our patients.
The program at the University of Colorado School of Medicine is dedicated to the education of providers at all levels. We have a faculty credentialing program modeled upon professional society guidelines. We are committed to the department mission to provide superlative patient care.
For more information, see the Ultrasound page.9
The Department of Emergency Medicine’s Wilderness and Environmental Medicine specialty is a university-based enterprise to promote research, best practice, education, and outreach to promote health and wellness in extreme or austere environments. The work in Wilderness Medicine includes attention to the greater policy issues of environmental change in health. The Wilderness Medicine group is committed toward advancing the conversation based upon the best scientific evidence to improve discourse and understanding.
Our constituents are the community and students of the health sciences in all levels, including seasoned medical practitioners seeking to augment their skill sets. We have robust collaborations with different organizations in order to bring forth diversity of experiences and perspectives in our mission to advance the field of wilderness and environmental medicine. The goal of the group is to have the most comprehensive program of its kind in the world, setting the standard of excellence in scholarship in our field.
For more information, see the Wilderness Medicine site.10