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Community forums to provide insight into ER overhaul

October 04, 2017

The community will have a chance to learn more about the hospital’s recent renovations to the emergency department and gain a better understanding of what is being done at the local health care facility to make emergency visits more efficient.

Sampson Regional Medical Center will be hosting six community forums throughout October. The first of those forums is scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 5, at the Roseboro Town Hall. These forums, according to Kristy Bland, marketing and community relations coordinator, will provide the residents of the community with information about the emergency department’s recent renovations, as well has how the change of workflow and implementation of the electronic health records will help offer safer, more efficient emergency care.

Other forms are scheduled for Oct. 12 at Harrells Activity Center; Oct. 17 at Garland Town Hall; Oct. 19 at Newton Grove Town Hall; Oct. 24 at Clinton City Town Hall; and Oct. 26 at Salemburg Town Hall. All forums are at 6:30 p.m.

“A visit to the ER is not something that you plan, but when emergency care is needed, we want the community to know that the providers at Sampson Regional Medical Center’s Emergency Room stand ready to provide quality care for every patient,” Bland said.

By holding multiple forums across Sampson County, Bland said the hospital staff will be able to reach out to individuals that otherwise might be unable to attend due to travel limitations or scheduling conflicts. Offering the different forums will allow individuals the opportunity to choose the one that works best for them.

“Community members are encouraged to share with hospital administrators during the forums about recent experiences in the emergency room,” Bland explained. “Feedback received will be used as the emergency room focuses on continuous improvement. We understand that individuals have a choice when it comes to their healthcare, that is why we work to continuously improve and instill confidence that SRMC is the hospital of choice for our community.”

The renovations to the emergency department’s lobby and main patient area, the addition of the new treatment rooms and renovation of the existing private treatment rooms, were all part of a $570,000 project that took nearly two years and four phases to complete. Work was done to allow the flow of patients to stay at the high standards the emergency department has become known for.

Phase one of the project included updated features in the department’s lobby area. New decor and furnishing were installed to promote a comfortable and relaxed environment for both patients and visitors. Total lobby space was reduced to allow for the addition of six new treatment rooms. This was phase two of the work. These new treatment areas, Cava said, increased patient privacy and comfort.

During phase three of the project, the main emergency department curtained beds were renovated and made larger, reducing the number of beds from seven to six. An additional trauma room was added and a larger workspace for providers and staff was was situated with more convenient access to all three sections of the ER, including clear visibility of the trauma rooms.

The ambulance bay was renovated to provide brighter space for the entrance of the emergency department.

Phase four, the final phase of the project, allowed for a renovation to the five private treatment areas that were original to the main emergency room. This brought the total number of beds to 22, plus the five Fast Track rooms.

During the forums, Bland said individuals will hear about the renovations made to emergency services at SRMC and how the hospital’s emergency department is now bigger, better and faster. Additional treatment rooms added allowing for increased opportunity for direct bedding soon after patients are registered, improved workflows, expert care and more privacy.

According to Connie Wolfe, RN, ER nursing director, the department sees roughly 100 patients a day. The original ER was built to serve only 17,000 patients per year. Before renovations began, approximately 35,000 patients were seen each year.

“This renovation was necessary to meet emergency room utilization by our community,” Wolfe said. “While the deployment of our new emergency department and construction have temporarily affected our turn-around times, we are proud to still be below the national average of 280 minutes.”

Both Wolfe and Amber Cava, vice president of marketing, will be speaking at each of the forums.

One of the benefits from the overhaul, according to staff, is the decreased wait times. The additional treatment rooms has allowed for more patients to been seen in a more effective and efficient manner.

An electronic health record system has been implemented, which allows for communication between providers. This allows the emergency room staff to access patient information, enabling providers to reach accurate diagnosis more quickly.

“With bedside scanning, we have additional checks and balances to make sure the patient matches with the medication that the nurse will administer,” Wolfe shared.