EFFINGHAM — With some final inspections of the third renovation phase by the Illinois Department of Public Health left to go, the newly renovated HSHS St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital Emergency Department is ready to roll.

According to one doctor there, the delivery of health care is much different today than it was when the previous emergency department was opened more than two decades ago.

The $6.6 million renovation of the emergency department began in February 2018, and was funded by Hospital Sisters Health System using monies set aside specifically for renovations and building projects.

The three-phase project is now completed, with the first two phases already being utilized and approved by IDPH.

“We are excited to be in the home stretch,” said Deb Murbarger, director of Emergency Services, Convenient Care and Respiratory Care. “Substantial renovation is complete and we are awaiting the Illinois Department of Public Health to give us permission to occupy Phase Three of the renovated space. They are scheduled to conduct their survey the week of Aug. 19.”

The new emergency department has expanded from 8,000 square feet to 13,000 square feet and shifted from semiprivate rooms to all-private rooms, 17 in all. The updated department includes private patient triage, a floor plan that offers a line of sight to each patient treatment area by re-positioning the nurses’ station. The hospital’s security has been relocated to be near the entrance of the emergency department to help provide safety oversight for colleagues, physicians and patients.

“The project is also supported by funds from the HSHS St. Anthony’s Foundation, which come from contributions from hospital colleagues, physicians and community members to the foundation for reinvestment into our facility and equipment to enhance the care we provide,” said Dennis Baker, director of facilities management at HSHS St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital.

“We listened to the voices of our patients, their family members, colleagues and medical providers. All involved asked for more privacy, better workflow and increased safety for patients and colleagues,” said Murbarger.

The emergency department entrance, which was temporarily moved for about a month, is back under the canopied entrance on Mulberry Street. The only permanent change is that the outpatient entrance is now at the Prairie Heart Institute, also at a covered entrance off of Maple Street. The parking location for the emergency department is the same, said Baker.

“The delivery of health care had changed drastically over the 25 years since the previous design of the emergency department was done,” said Dr. David Sprowls, Medical Director of HSHS St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital Emergency Department.

The modern space is also designed with the patient in mind, with private rooms for increased comfort and privacy. The new renovation benefits both the patients and health care providers alike.

New equipment in this renovation includes:

• Additional Glidescopes (intubation assistive devices).

• A second lab chute system, which decreases the number of steps colleagues have to walk to get specimens sent to lab for quicker turnaround.

• Touch-enabled ultrasound system.

• Additional Pyxis machine (automatic medication dispensing).

• Rauland Nurse Call system upgrade, fully integrated to the hospital's electronic medical record system.

The new design with private rooms for each patient and behavioral health rooms allows the physicians and advanced practice providers, such as nurse practitioners and physician assistants; nurses and technicians to have a watchful eye on all the patients in the emergency department, as well as have a workflow to efficiently care for multiple patients under their care.

“While our hospital emergency department is located in a smaller community, being located at the intersection of two major interstates means that we have the possibility of treating a larger population than what is in our area,” said Sprowls.

Murbarger said the emergency department handles 24,000 calls per year, a number that has remained steady in recent years.

She said the new renovation also includes the addition of new rooms designed to help keep behavioral health patients safe, fully equipped with special furnishings and equipment to keep them from harming themselves. For patients with possible illnesses such as tuberculosis, measles, chicken pox, shingles or meningitis, there are isolation rooms to protect others.

“We have also added two negative pressure rooms for quicker isolation of contagious patients, and have enhanced decontamination capability by adding an additional entrance for contaminated patients,” said Murbarger. “The new renovation space also includes multifunctional space for patient consultation and education."

The newly renovated department simply makes for better service.

“The overall redesign helps improve patient flow and reduces bottlenecks for more efficient delivery of health care,” said Murbarger.

Dawn Schabbing can be reached at dawn.schabbing@effinghamdailynews.com or 217-347-7151 ext 138

Recommended for you