Manatee Memorial Hospital marked a major achievement last December when it opened its brand new Emergency Care Center in a space double the size of the previous emergency department. "We've had great success," says emergency department director Jody Rain, RN, BSN, CEN.
“We’ve made some adjustments along the way, but all the preplanning was phenomenal to make sure everything was in place starting the day of the opening. On December 26, we hit an all-time-high volume of patients treated, and we’ve been growing ever since.”
What can you expect?
One of the first things you may notice when you go to the new center is that there are two separate treatment areas – one for patients who need more intensive medical care, and another for lower acuity patients, with less critical conditions. This is helping to streamline the flow so that patients are constantly moving forward, Rain says. While both areas are part of the emergency department, having two treatment “tracks” helps to direct patients to providers who can best meet their needs, so that they can receive care as quickly as possible.
A number of other features have been incorporated to ease the stress of emergency visits. For example, the noise level has been reduced by implementing sound-reducing elements into the design and using phones to communicate, instead of overhead pagers. Also, certain areas provide an option to dim or turn off the lights if patients wish to rest. The goal is to create a peaceful environment that is conducive to healing. “That part of the design has really been a hit with the patients, the staff and the visitors,” says Rain.
Looking ahead, plans are underway to add a CT scanner for diagnostic testing, and the team remains focused on continually finding new ways to improve care. “We’ve kept the patients at the center of every decision,” says Rain. “That was the key to making this a successful project.”
Parking for emergency visits
Designated and convenient parking spots are available in the tower parking area if you need to visit the Emergency Care Center. Also, a free valet parking service has been established to provide a second option at high-volume times. Helping you get treated promptly is important, and the hospital wants to make it as easy as possible for you to get the care you need.