Walking into WCA Hospital's new Emergency Department, one might expect to see Grey's Anatomy, Scrubs or E.R. being filmed.
On Sunday, the hospital is hosting a grand opening ceremony to unveil the new, up-to-date, tv-worthy department. The ceremony will include a dedication ceremony, open house, tours of the Emergency Department and a teddy bear clinic open to the public.
"We encourage everyone to preview our new front door of health care-our 21st Century Emergency Department," said Betsy T. Wright, FACHE, WCA Hospital President and CEO.
WCA Hospital will be hosting the grand opening of its new Emergency Department on Sept. 23. When the department will officially be open to provide care is yet to be determined.
The new Emergency Department offers a variety of features intended to make the hospital more efficient for both patients and staff. John Sundholm, director of laboratory services, demonstrates the hospital’s tube system.
P-J photos by Liz Skoczylas
According to Wright, the hospital's Emergency Department is recognized as one of the busiest in the area, serving more than 37,000 patients annually and growing.
"Our new 18,000-square-foot Emergency Department will provide emergency excellence in a patient-centered environment that is designed to be private, spacious, comfortable, and technologically advanced," Wright said.
*Nearly $14.5 million of WCA Hospital's $16.5 million goal has been raised for the new Emergency Department
*The Emergency Department offers fast-track rooms for non-critical emergencies
*The new department offers 28 areas for patients, with capacity for up to five more beds
*Each room offers: computers, heart monitor, stretcher, guest chairs, television, sink, linen hampers, gloves, waterless hand soap, cart full of supplies
*Several rooms can safely accommodate psychiatric patients
*Bariatric patients are easily accommodated
*Each room has a sliding door and curtain to ensure privacy
*The new Emergency Department offers increased security
*The ambulance bay is heated and can accommodate up to two ambulances at a time
*Decontamination showers are now available
*Private rooms are offered for sexual assault victims
*Back end registration is offered once a patient is taken care of
The new Emergency Department offers patients and their families several features meant to make their visit quicker and as efficient as possible.
Patients are greeted at the Emergency Department's front door with local artwork and televisions in the waiting room. Additionally, there is a desk in the lobby for patients to check in with.
"We do have security, in case you're concerned about security issues," said Emelia Lindquist, nurse manager of the Emergency Department. "Everything in this building is actually locked down. We are meeting post-9/11 regulations that say you have to be able to separate out and be completely detached from the rest of the facility if you needed to, whether that be for bioterrorism or something."
Beyond the lobby are 28 areas that can be used for any type of emergency. The old Emergency Department has only 22 rooms. According to Lindquist, several of the old Emergency Department rooms do not meet the full needs for every emergency.
Two of the rooms in the new Emergency Department are considered fast-track rooms. Patients who do not have critical injuries will be put in a fast-track room.
"We'd like to get those patients in and out as quickly as possible. Right now, we kind of bottle-neck a little bit," Lindquist said. "Our goal is to get you in and get you out as quickly as possible. We recognize people are busy, there are a lot of things going on. So, we set up rooms that are really super comfortable and quick and easy, but we can meet any needs you have in any one of these rooms."
The fast-track rooms will have a designated provider from 8 a.m. until 3 a.m. In the off-hours, care will still be provided to those in the fast-track rooms, but not by a person dedicated solely to those rooms.
"If you're just dedicated to doing that population, our goal with the better flow is that we can get you in and get you out a lot quicker," Lindquist said.
Each of the rooms in the Emergency Department will be complete with computers, a heart monitor, a stretcher, chairs for visitors and a television donated by DFT Communications. Additionally, the rooms contain a sink, linen hamper areas, gloves and waterless hand soap pumps at each door. Each room also contains a cart filled with supplies.
"If you need something, you're not waiting a long time for that supply to come to you. Our goal is to provide all the care you need as quickly as possible and as efficient as possible," Lindquist said.
There are several rooms that can accommodate psychiatric patients as well. While these rooms have the same features as each of the other rooms, they also feature a screen that may be pulled down to prevent equipment from being tampered with. Additionally, the televisions are enclosed in a case. These rooms are to prevent patients from harming themselves.
Each room also is an individual room with a sliding door and curtains, which helps the hospital to ensure greater confidentiality.
"If the doctor comes in and talks to you, nobody else is going to be able to be listening on the other side of the curtain," said John Carlson, director of facility services.
Two of the rooms in the Emergency Department are larger resuscitation rooms, which have equipment to deal with major emergencies, such as a heart-attack, stroke or car accident.
There is also an area which is set apart from the rest of the Emergency Department, intended for victims of sexual assault. The area provides extra privacy for victims to be able to speak to police officers, as well as a shower for victims.
Aside from the rooms meant for patients, there is also a room for families to wait outside of the lobby, featuring what Lindquist calls "user-friendly furniture," including chairs, tables and lamps.
"If, at any point, a family is in crisis, it's a nice, quiet little room, so they're not sitting out in the main waiting area," Lindquist said.
The Emergency Department also has the capacity to handle bariatric patients, to allow them to be more comfortable when they come in. Additionally, the department has a lift that is able to assist patients, which has a 1,000 pound motor.
"In the past, we've always kind of moved patients like ping-pong balls, from one area to another, so that their needs were met," Lindquist said. "Now, we are really doing the opposite. This whole area was built with the focus that everything the patient needs is brought to them."
For part two of all WCA Hospital's new Emergency Department has to offer, see Monday's edition of The Post-Journal.