|New facility offers expert staff, cutting-edge technology, and innovative treatment model.
LANGHORNE, Pa., April 9, 2013 – St. Mary Medical Center has completed Phase 2 of its Emergency Department and Trauma Center expansion. To celebrate this event, a ribbon-cutting ceremony was held Tuesday in the newly renovated Emergency Department. This event includes speakers, reception, and tours. Due for a total project completion in August 2013, the Medical Center will invest nearly $22 million in this state-of-the-art facility. The result is an Emergency Department with the ability to treat more than 100,000 patients annually and save countless lives thanks to the well-qualified staff, advanced life-saving technology, and the Split-Flow model approach to managing high patient volume. This new layout and care model provides patients quicker access to highly trained specialists in areas including Trauma, Heart and Vascular, Neurosciences, and Orthopedics. This venture marks the second time in the past seven years that St. Mary has expanded its Emergency Department and Trauma Center.
Phase 2 construction includes a new, attractive, fully covered and fully lit Emergency Department entrance. Three lanes have been added in front of the entrance to facilitate traffic flow for patients arriving simultaneously and to provide convenient access to 24/7 valet parking. A designated entrance and parking area for patients arriving by ambulance has also been installed. Other enhancements include a lobby with a fireplace that provides comfort for patients and families, new reception with three distinct areas to triage patients, and private areas, or pods, for patients to comfortably wait in for test results and/or additional treatment. The Expedited Treatment Area, a place where patients who have conditions that need further evaluation are treated, has expanded from five to eight beds.
The Split-Flow Model is a new way to manage high patient volume. When a patient enters the Emergency Department, s/he is immediately evaluated and directed to Pediatric, Prompt Care, Acute Care, or an Expedited Treatment Area. This new implementation separates patients by the acuteness of their conditions and allows for them to be treated by healthcare providers as quickly as possible, helping to eliminate long wait times. These changes and improvements are intended to create an even more satisfying experience for patients. According to benchmark data, St. Mary Emergency Department patient satisfaction is currently ranked in the top 5 percent nationally. “This recent expansion has had a very positive effect on both patients and physicians,” notes Dr. Gary Zimmer, Medical Director of Emergency Services. “Access to patient care has been improved, allowing us to effectively and efficiently treat the growing number of emergency patients. The Split-Flow model of emergency care has had a tremendous impact on the quality of care patients receive.”
In Phase 1 construction, each of the new private rooms added a television, bathroom facilities, computer for quick access to the patient’s medical records, and a supply cart equipped with necessities for medical emergencies. A new CAT scanner was installed within the Emergency Department in addition to the digital X-ray and full access to a range of diagnostic services used for patients.
The Bristol-Myers Squibb Pediatric Emergency Care Center benefited through the Phase 1 redesign. In addition to being one of the first pediatric emergency care centers in the area, it is the only one in the region to implement the use of nitrous oxide (N2O) in treating children. The practice of providing light sedation of N2O is a safe and effective way to reduce the pain and anxiety children and parents face in stressful situations such as administering stitches, mending lacerations, or helping with broken bones. N2O has few side effects and is very fast acting.
Beyond patient and physician considerations, input from area ambulance squads was also incorporated into design decisions including a covered ambulance entrance and lounge area to protect these first respondents from bad weather, as well as a squad room to relax and refresh in before their next call.
Phase 3 will focus on renovating the pre-existing Emergency Department and Trauma Center and adding the finishing touches to the department. It is scheduled to be completed this summer. In this final phase, the Bristol-Myers Squibb Pediatric Emergency Care Center will grow from eight to 11 beds and add separate infectious and noninfectious reception areas. Features such as doors in treatment rooms and the addition of a pediatric resuscitation room that can also be used for pediatric trauma are among the new features to be added.
The major component that differentiates a Trauma Center from an emergency care facility is the requirement for 24-hour availability of a team of specially trained healthcare providers with expertise in treating severely injured patients. St. Mary has the only state accredited Trauma Center in Bucks County and has full access to a wide range of highly advanced diagnostic services. It is one of 31 regional trauma centers to meet the tough standards required for accreditation in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania by the Pennsylvania Trauma Systems Foundations (PTSF). The Trauma Center includes state-of-the-art trauma bays with immediate access to diagnostic services and a sterile operating-room environment. Trauma patients are given priority admission and immediate access to full services, including OR and CAT scan. With this Emergency Department and Trauma Center expansion, St. Mary continues to demonstrate its commitment to meeting the growing healthcare needs of our community.