A welcome addition Ephrata Community Hospital unveils new $13M emergency dept.

By on April 10, 2013

By: LUCY RICCOMINI Review Staff, Staff Writer

David Weaver (left), facilities project coordinator, and Orie Chambers, RN, unit manager for the emergency department, enjoy working in the new treatment rooms at Ephrata Community Hospital. (Photo by Stan Hall)

Ephrata Community Hospital officially opened the doors of its new emergency room April 8. Patients and visitors should be pleased with the results.

"Staff from many different departments have been actively preparing for this day," said Joanne Eshelman, director of community relations at the hospital. "Everybody is very excited about this important milestone in our project."

The original emergency room was constructed in 1986 and was equipped to serve about 16,000 patients per year. Currently, the hospital serves 32,000. The increase resulted in a lack of space for patients, additional wait time, crowding and utilizing hallways as make-shift rooms.

The new 16,000-square-foot space features 26 state-of-the-art patient care rooms, space for less urgent patients, rooms for those with behavioral health needs, and a new ambulance entrance, nurses’ station and reception area.

Technological advances allow for even better patient care with the newest and latest medical equipment. Each room features sliding glass doors in addition to curtains, providing more privacy. The decor and lighting is more soothing, providing the best comfort possible to patients.

"In March, we debuted the new space to major donors to our Emergency Department Capital Campaign," added Eshelman. "These individuals were impressed with this beautiful new facility and proud to help make this possible for our community."

Approximately $4.5 million was used for patient and monitoring equipment and furnishings. An additional $2.2 million was designated for a new HVAC system

"This project has been funded in part through a $5 million capital campaign. Generous gifts from our community-individuals, businesses, organizations, physicians and hospital employees have helped us to reach $4.6 million in contributions to date," said Eshelman.

As the construction was underway, employees worked in the existing emergency room, while also training and preparing for a smooth transition into the new space.

"Our staff was very busy preparing the new space for patient use," said Eshelman. "In addition to their regular duties, they were stocking the space with all the necessary supplies, receiving training on the new patient monitoring equipment and orienting themselves to the new layout within the department."

Now that the transition to the new emergency room is complete, renovations will begin on the old emergency room. This portion of the project is expected to be completed by December of 2013 and will unveil a new lobby, reception area, restrooms and outpatient registration. The building entrance will also be redesigned. The entire project will cost about $13 million.

For more information on the new emergency room, visit supportephratahospital.org. More HOSPITAL, page A18

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