New procedure for referral admissions to Norton Children’s Hospital

For nearly two decades, Norton Children’s Hospital has partnered with our community’s pediatric health care providers to assist with the admission of patients through the emergency department’s Admission Express Unit (AEU). At the time it was created, the mission of this unit was to streamline the process for children referred for admission to Norton Children’s Hospital.

Increased emergency department (ED) and hospital volumes; capacity challenges leading to boarded inpatients in the ED, sedation and post-anesthesia care units and other areas; and more high-acuity and high-complexity patients have had an impact on  throughput for the ED and AEU. These factors have affected the efficiency of AEU patient placement, care delivery and patient safety.

In an effort to provide children with the safest care, streamline admissions and continue to partner with our area providers, Norton Children’s Hospital has revised its admission process. Beginning March 1, 2019, all patients referred to Norton Children’s Hospital for admission will be evaluated by an ED provider.

Community providers who refer patients for admission still will be able to give preliminary admission orders if desired and all children referred for admission will be admitted to the hospital. The ED provider will ensure timely evaluation upon arrival and initiation of orders, and expedite the admission process.

To provide convenient and efficient communication, we have established a single contact number — (502) 629-4019 — for referral information. Use this phone number for all referrals for admission to Norton Children’s Hospital. These measures will assist in ensuring that your patient’s stay in the Norton Children’s Hospital ED is minimized and as safe as possible.

It is our commitment to partner with our valuable providers within the referral area in providing optimal care for our pediatric patients. If you have concerns or questions about this upcoming change, contact our provider outreach liaison, Jeffrey Grill, M.D., at We appreciate your cooperation in making this a successful transition.

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