Creating a Better Patient Emergency Department Experience
Today’s Emergency Departments are taking on new layouts, materials palettes, and operational efficiencies in an effort to provide a pleasing and patient-centric experience while also increasing through-put efficiencies. Across the country, healthcare organizations are continuing to respond to the evolving marketplace by making process improvement changes to treat existing patients in a more efficient manner. In order to do this, we are re-thinking layouts that speed up through-put and improving aesthetics to make the front door appeal to their hospital as pleasing an experience as possible not only for the patient, but for their loved ones.
“The Emergency Department is by far the first introduction to the hospital for many patients, with an average of 70% of admissions resulting from a trip to the E.D. It is the “front door” now for the community and their experience matters.” Eric Krempa, Associate AIA, ED Specialist at RPA Design. Dealing with long wait times, longer patient turnaround times and low satisfaction scores for both patients and staff, CaroMont Health wanted to make innovative design changes that would improve these shortfalls for their 100,000 annual patient census.
CaroMont’s initial goals included more efficient intake of patients, enhanced HIPAA compliance, improved patient and staff satisfaction and the ability to provide a safer environment for all within the existing E.D. The 25,400 square foot renovation and 32,200 square foot addition included targeted relocations of adjacent spaces to make room for the enhanced pediatric E.D. program, an addition for expanded support spaces, drive-thru EMS garage and the relocation of the helipad to meet current FAA requirements.
Keeping Care On the Move
RPA designed a new patient entry that created a single point of arrival for adult and pediatric patients where they are greeted by a Triage Nurse who immediately makes an assessment of their needs and routes the patient to the Main E.D. or Pediatric E.D. This whole process is enhanced by the ability to direct patients to a patient room, private triage rooms, or to private cubicles for additional screening and evaluations.
By creating two new clinical zones, Rapid Treatment and Results Lounge, we were able to better route lower acuity patients and to support E.D. patients waiting for test results or discharge. A more private lounge space for patients and family is provided, along with exam rooms and clinical support to move them through the process and create a better overall patient experience.
Creating a Warmer Welcome
Whether freestanding, located on a hospital campus, or focused on a particular patient population, Emergency Departments are turning to color, comfortable furnishings, custom millwork, and dedicated family spaces to promote a serene and safe environment for all. Welcoming and well maintained environments transform the perception of care. “We are moving away from sterile or institutional like settings and adding warm materials and color palettes, residential style furnishings, decorative lighting and a variety of artwork, with a focus on the community.” Sarah Peterson, Interior Designer, RPA Design.
Our team was able to improve both the form and function of CaroMont Regional Medical Center’s Emergency Department to enhance healthcare delivery and patient experience.