April marked the groundbreaking of a two-year, $22 million project that will expand and renovate the Augusta Health Emergency Department. This project will add 18 beds to the current Emergency Department, increasing the total number of available beds from 30 to 48. Construction is expected to be completed in 2019.
“We do patient experience surveys of all of our patients, and we often get feedback about the need for more rooms in the ED,” says Lisa Cline, chief operating officer of Augusta Health.
In addition to expanding the number of beds available, a series of renovations will be made to the ED in phases. Some of these renovations include new flooring, new paint, new headwalls for patient rooms, new glass doors that will allow nurses to see patients more easily, and new nursing stations that will change the configuration of the floor as well as make it easier for nurses to do their jobs.
“We’re pretty much gutting the existing Emergency Department, as well as enlarging it and renovating it,” says Cline.
Once opened, patients will notice most of these renovations right away. However, there are also other changes Augusta Health is making that are subtler. For example, an expanded subunit for behavioral health will have its own dedicated nursing station.
Designed for patients
Not only will these renovations mean more privacy for patients and an updated ED environment, but Cline explains that the expansion and renovation of the ED will also have other positive effects for patients at Augusta Health.
“Patient throughput will be vastly improved,” she says. “We actually have a user group consisting of physicians, nurses, EMTs and others that is working with our architects on the design to help them think about patient flow, and how we can get people in and out more quickly.”
In general, the new ED is being designed with the needs of the community at the forefront.
“Augusta Health is very committed to this community and we want people to come to their local hospital and feel that not only are they going to get top-notch care, but also have an experience that matches,” says Cline.