A spacious new home
Date: January 10, 2012
For the Emergency Department medical staff, the move from their cramped, crowded and outdated facilities can’t come soon enough. When the new ED opens its doors on April 30 in the Sheikh Zayed Tower, the department’s space alone will triple.
“It’s going to improve the working conditions of the staff and the overall experience of patients,” says nurse Paula Justice, facilities manager for the department.
The increase in space will allow a much greater level of patient privacy. In fact, all 67 patient exam and observation rooms will be completely private, notes Peter Hill, clinical director of the ED. Patients will be housed in large comfortable rooms featuring plenty of space for family members and other loved ones, as well as ample room for doctors and health care providers to move about.
The new Emergency Acute Care Unit, or EACU, will physically be part of the Emergency Department, a sharp improvement over the current space, which is located in a completely different building than the ED. This proximity will allow staff to move quickly between the 17-bed unit and the ED, and doctors from other clinical departments in the new hospital tower will be able to easily access the unit for consults.
Featuring six trauma rooms equipped with the latest medical technologies, the ED will share its trauma area with the Pediatric Emergency Department, with four rooms designated for adults and two for children. These rooms have been designed to be clinically “flexible,” capable of accommodating either adults or children, explains Katherine DeRuggerio, director of nursing for the department.
Another welcome clinical feature of the new ED is an expanded radiology suite outfitted not only with X-ray and CT scanning equipment, but also with MRI and ultrasound, which will also be shared with Pediatric Emergency, says Hill. These will reduce the need to move patients to a central radiology unit and speed up test turnaround time.
What it means for patients
The department’s move from its current location on the north side of the hospital off Monument Street to the front hospital location off Orleans Street will offer some key advantages for patients and their families, says Jim Scheulen, chief administrative officer of the department. These include:
• A more prominent locale.
• Easy access to Orleans Garage via enclosed foot bridges.
• A drop-off area right by the entrance to the Emergency Department.