FMDH Debuts New ER
April 24, 2019
After a few months of construction, Francis Mahon Deaconess Hospital recently completed construction in the emergency room portion of the hospital and patients as well as ER staff were able to utilize the new space starting on April 18. Due to the completed construction, patients will see changes in the location of the ER as well as a different process for checking in.
The former entrance to the Medical Arts Building will be for ambulance use only while the current emergency room entrance, on the backside of the building, will continue to be for walk-in patients. No one will be occupying the check-in desk as you walk into the ER entrance as that space will soon be under construction. When arriving into the ER as a walk-in patient, check-in procedures must be started at the hospital's nurses station, which is down the hallway from the walk-in patient ER entrance. "We are working really hard to have signage in order to direct patients to where they need to go," stated ER/ICU Area Coordinator Cassie Mitchell.
After checking-into the nurses station as a walk-in patient or if a person has to be admitted by an ambulance, they will see a huge difference in the layout of the ER. Comprised of three private treatment rooms, instead of two open bed bays, a triage room, a decontamination room, a procedure room and a trauma room, everything is more centrally located than before. There is also an ER nurses station, a provider's office, a ward clerk desk, a small nutrition center, as well as storage room.
"In the past, if a patient had chemicals on them, they would have to go outside from the ambulance, into a trailer to get washed down, then go back outside to go into the hospital. Now the decontamination room has outdoor access so an ambulance can pull right in, get the patient washed down in the room, and then get them into a room for treatment," said Mitchell. "The private rooms will allow more privacy when getting admitted. There will be a call button in every room so even without the openness of the previous ER a nurse is always nearby. The previous ER was great for the health standards of 30 years ago however not for today's standards. We have been wanting a new ER for a very long time and are very excited to finally be getting one."
The triage room will be utilized for patients who need outpatient administration of antibiotics for the time being, with future plans to utilize it as a triage room. "We hope we never have to use it for triage, however now we have a room if the need arises," said Mitchell. The procedure room will allow emergency doctors to do simple procedures such as casting and sutures, and be an overflow space for trauma patients. The new trauma room, bigger in size than it was previously, is located right inside the doors of the former Medical Arts Building, so if an emergency arises, the ambulance will be able to bring the patient right into the room and allow the medical staff to do what they need to quickly. "There is a private film on the doors so there is complete privacy for the patient when they get brought in," assured Mitchell.
After construction was complete, the next task was to move all of the necessary equipment into the new space "The equipment is still well within health standards and relatively new. For example, the defibrillators for the crash carts we got just last year," said Mitchell.
The next phase of construction for the hospital includes remodeling where the emergency room was in order to build a new hospital nurses station and an inpatient pharmacy. Mitchell recognizes the change for patients, especially when in an emergency situation, might be overwhelming however signs will be available to direct patients to where they need to go. "Please make sure to watch out for the signs," stressed Mitchell.