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Doctors from Ghana learn at University of Kansas' newly-expanded emergency department

Posted at 12:48 PM, Feb 07, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-07 17:53:31-05

KANSAS CITY, Kan. – Operations at a local hospital are grabbing international attention.

Doctors from Ghana are in town visiting The University of Kansas Hospital.

For two weeks, three doctors from Ghana will learn about the hospital's emergency medical services (EMS) to develop their own. 

"It's amazing also if you look at the infrastructure here and the facilities and the resources, definitely, it's something that we need to learn from," Dr. Ahmed Zakariah said. 

After touring the hospital's newly expanded emergency department, the doctors learned more about the hospital's air ambulance transportation, something Ghana does not currently have.

"All our major hospitals are in the big cities and so sometimes you need to take a patient and travel over 600 miles," Dr. Zakariah said. 

Dr. Zakariah said hospitals in Ghana have a lot of patients coming in, but the bed capacity is limited. That was a dilemma The University of Kansas Hospital also faced, and it led to their recent emergency department expansion. 

"About a decade ago when I got here, our volume was about 42,000 or 43,000 visits a year," Dr. David Lisbon with The University of Kansas Hospital said. 

In 2017, the hospital had 68,000 patients come into the emergency room, admitting around 35 percent of those patients. 

The renovations made 17 new exam rooms, adding to the other 29 rooms. It brought some relief in addtion to improving patient flow. 

The doctors from Ghana will take concepts like these home to their hospitals.

"We need to really do things right, and there's no other better place than coming here to a system that is already developed, so that we don't need to reinvent the wheel -- we just learn from the best practices and we take the experience back home," said Dr. Zakariah.