Staff and patients are already enjoying some of the benefits of the expansion and renovation underway in the Emergency Department at Dorchester General Hospital. During the second phase of the five-phase construction project, five new patient treatment areas and a two-bed triage area were opened. The ED is now equipped with three battery-operated stretcher chairs, which recline and extend flat so that they can be used as patient beds.
The most noticeable difference that visitors to the ED will see is a new registration area. After stopping to register, individuals in need of care will be taken across the hall to the triage area, where a nurse will do a clinical examination and begin treatment.
When a visitor to the ED presses the intercom to request entry, a staff member will answer the call right away. Cathy Weber, BSN, RN, CEN, manager of emergency services for Dorchester General Hospital, adds, “During construction, we ask for your patience if it takes us a few extra minutes to meet you at the door because we now have to walk around a new area of construction to get to the visitor’s entrance.”
Weber will be relying on the patient advocate volunteers from the Dorchester General Hospital Auxiliary to help guide people as they get used to the new traffic flow. “At times, we may be limiting the number of visitors to keep them safe from construction activity,” Weber says. “Our Auxiliary volunteers will be available on most weekdays to provide updates to family members until they can get back to see their loved ones.”
Phase two upgrades also included staff and physician lounges, a behavioral health patient room, and a convenient storage space for nursing and housekeeping staff.
Phase three of the construction project is moving forward and entails building a new inside entrance to the ED. The final phases of the project will take place in the existing ED treatment areas, where a new nursing station and patient rooms will be built. Around-the-clock patient care will continue throughout construction. The project is expected to be completed by the fall of 2009.