By Kristin Bednarski
The emergency department at Mercy Health-Clermont Hospital is nearing the end of a $2.5 million expansion and renovation that has created a more efficient, updated space for doctors and patients.
Nanette Bentley, director of public relations for Mercy Health, said the hospital has entered the last phase of renovations, which is expected to be complete in March.
The multi-phase project began in the spring of 2012 and included the addition of several patient beds, renovated and expanded patient rooms, a new waiting room and reception area, a behavioral health area, new triage areas, and more.
“With private rooms organized around the nursing area for high visibility, the new unit will provide prompt service and the highest quality emergency care available,” Bentley said.
Ann Lane, the director of the emergency department at Mercy Health-Clermont Hospital, said the changes have helped make the department more efficient.
“I love it,” Lane said. “It really helps the patient flow for the whole department.”
Lane said the renovations were well-thought out, and although they added space to the department, have already made it easier for doctors, nurses and other staff to do their jobs.
She said the changes also enable patients to see a doctor more quickly and get them on their way more quickly.
“The goal is to decrease the length of stay for all patients,” Lane said.
Lane said the renovations begin before patients get in the door with a new, covered entryway leading into the department.
From there, she said there is a new reception area and waiting room complete with upgraded seating and a quick check-in process.
Patients are first admitted to a new triage area where a physician will see them quickly and determine where the patient needs to go from there.
“They can keep the patient in that area, or they can send them to the mid level area,” Lane said.
Lane said the mid-level area has been expanded to include eight beds. She said if a patient is sent to this area he or she will normally need some type of specific care.
“They could also be getting admitted (to the hospital) from here,” Lane said about the mid-level area. “Or they could send (the patient) to acute care.”
Lane said the acute care area has been expanded to include 13 beds. She said patients will probably be admitted to the hospital from this area and will need a more complex care.
In addition, Lane said there is a new behavioral health area that patients with mental or emotional health issues can be sent. She said the area is designed with the safety of the patient and staff in mind.
In addition to expanded and updated areas, Bentley said technology and equipment has also been upgraded in the department.
“The newly renovated 21,000 square foot emergency department now has state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment including two digital radiography rooms and a new 64 slice CT scanner,” Bentley said.
Bentley said the unit also has a new nurse call system and upgraded bedside computers for electronic medical records charting.
Lane said having a CT, or CAT scanner, and X-ray machines in the emergency department is fantastic..
“Before, for a CAT scan you had to go to the main X-ray,” Lane said.
She said that involved moving patients out of the emergency department and into another part of the hospital.
“We designed it so we could do different levels of care,” Lane said about the renovated department.
Lane said the new flow of the emergency department has been great, even as renovations are continuing.
“Physically it’s bigger, but it is more efficient, which makes it much easier to work,” Lane said.
She said patients are also noticing a difference, and feedback has been positive now that the department is almost complete.
Bentley said the renovations they are currently working to complete in the last phase include finishing two trauma rooms that are part of the Acute Care Unit.
“That’s the last bit of work we need to finish before the project is complete,” Bentley said.
For more information about Mercy Health-Clermont Hospital, visit www.e-mercy.com.