Emergency Department Renovations Nearing Completion
By April the Emergency Department will be a secure unit
February 24, 2012
Since November, construction crews have been onsite at Franklin Memorial Hospital making changes in the lobby and the emergency department (ED).
Visitors to Franklin Memorial Hospital will soon notice that three private registration offices with privacy glass have been added that are located to the left side of the main lobby and the switchboard operator/greeter has moved near the emergency department entrance.
By April 3, renovations should be complete in the ED. Patients will enter its designated entrance and check in with the switchboard operator/greeter, a position that will be staffed 24/7. The greeter will send those with urgent health care needs to triage for a health assessment. Patients with less serious complaints, such as a cold or sore throat, will be sent to the waiting area if a patient room is not available.
Secure doors will manage the entrance of staff and visitors into patient treatment areas. This new protected ED unit was created to improve the safety of staff and patients and is the norm throughout the state.
Due to privacy, space, or other circumstances family and friends may be asked to wait in the waiting area. If patients are allowed visitors, the number will be limited.
“We know that it is calming and beneficial for patients to be accompanied by a loved one, but allowing too many visitors can interfere with patient care and compromise patient privacy,” said Miriah McKenna, ED nurse manager. “Our primary goal is to provide every patient with a safe environment where we can evaluate and treat serious conditions. The ED can go from very quiet to extremely busy in an instant. We need to reduce unnecessary traffic, focus our attention on patient needs, and protect patient privacy at the same time.”
Another change that visitors will note said McKenna, “Anyone who accompanies a patient into the ED who leaves (for example to go to the cafeteria) must reenter the department through the lobby entrance—not the doors near the elevators as was previously standard.”
The hospital’s main entrance remains open until 8:30 p.m., after which time the only way to gain entry into the hospital is through the ED entrance. A new hallway from this entrance will allow patients to enter the hospital after hours for surgical or obstetric units without going through the emergency room waiting area.
The renovations did not affect the number of ED patient rooms, which includes five basic treatment rooms, a designated trauma room, a designated mental health room, and two major treatment rooms.
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