Dean Lin, president of Ocean Medical Center and Mary Beth Kady, nurse manager of emergency services, gave TLS the tour of the facility, which is part of an $82 million project.
The original emergency department was built in 1984 to accommodate 17,000 visits a year. Today, Ocean Medical Center has over 55,000 visits. The new emergency department will accommodate 70,000 visits per year. The new ED is triple the size of the old ED (12,500 sq. ft. to 44,000 sq. ft.) and is expanding from 24 bays to 49 private patient bays.
The facility is a four level building, which includes a basement (for receiving, mechanical rooms, boiler rooms, environmental services, linens), first floor for new ED, and the second and third floors are built as shell space – walls and structure is in place, but not fully outfitted, which can be outfitted in the future when needed.
Some new features include:
–The new main lobby: where individuals can drive up and drop off patients. On the opposite side of the new ED is an ambulance drop off area. Patients will present to the front desk, and then be immediately triaged and directed to the appropriate care area. This may be Express Care (for minor injuries and illness), Pediatric Care Center (for children), or the main ED for more serious problems.
–The new design is focused on getting patients immediately into a treatment area, with bedside registration. There are lounges instead of waiting areas, where family members or friends can gather if they are waiting for a patient.
–Express Care – This area is for minor injuries or illness, and has 8 individual exam rooms. It allows for privacy in a dignified environment. Most of these patients are treated and released the same day.
–Pediatric Care Center – is for children up to age 17. It is staffed by a pediatrician and RNs and has four private rooms for treat and release, and four private rooms for observation (in case a child needs to be here for up to 72 hours.) This space is carefully designed to be kid-friendly, and is located in a secure and separate area from the main ED.
–Main Emergency Department – This is the central area where the sickest patients are treated. It has 3 resuscitation rooms (1 pediatric and 2 adult) adjacent to the ambulance entry. Local EMS provided feedback on how to design the emergency entrance, and it was valuable feedback which went into the planning of the new space. They have direct access to the ED, separate from other patients or visitors. The nursing station is at the entrance to evaluate and sort patients immediately. Adjacent to the ambulance entrance is a dedicated decontamination room. Patients exposed to chemicals or hazardous materials are brought directly into this room from the outside, where they are washed/showered/decontaminated, then enter the building for medical treatment.
–Dedicated imaging technology – The new ED has two dedicated x-ray machines and CT scan equipment. This technology is right at the point of care and allows for ease of use. About 80% of people coming into the ED need an x-ray. This equipment is the latest and greatest, with lightening speed scans and digital and high resolution images for great quality.
–Behavioral Health – The new ED also has a dedicated behavioral health area, which has been carefully designed for location and set up. It will treat psychiatric patients and those with drug/alcohol related issues. It has 7 dedicated bays, where patients have some level of independence, but are monitored and secured in this area.
The new Emergency Department is expected to be completed in March. [TLS]