Hospital’s ER is now the EDDon’t call it the emergency room — or even the ER. It is bigger than that. The area where victims of accidents and sudden illness are treated is now the emergency department at Jamestown Regional Medical Center. The improvements are more than just a change in name. “We have security now,” said Sheila Krapp, emergency department manager. “Everyplace where patient care is done people must have an electronic badge.”
By: Keith Norman, The Jamestown Sun
Don’t call it the emergency room — or even the ER.
It is bigger than that. The area where victims of accidents and sudden illness are treated is now the emergency department at Jamestown Regional Medical Center. The improvements are more than just a change in name.
“We have security now,” said Sheila Krapp, emergency department manager. “Everyplace where patient care is done people must have an electronic badge.”
Along with security there will be a greater sense of privacy for patients and their families.
“All the rooms are private as opposed to the big room with three beds,” Krapp said. “Spacious trauma rooms with everything at our fingertips.”
The new emergency department features two trauma rooms, each about half the size of the area that contained three beds in the past. Each will include a full set of equipment to handle most situations.
Along with the trauma rooms, the department includes two infusion rooms.
“These rooms are primarily for outpatient IVs for antibiotics, chemotherapy or transfusions,” Krapp said.
Those rooms can also be used as trauma rooms in a large-scale incident.
Krapp said the emergency department is located near the surgery rooms and labs for easy access. The check-in and waiting area are separated from the nurses’ station also to provide more privacy and maintain more security. The waiting room overlooks another new addition to the emergency department’s operation.
“A helipad at the hospital is very handy and saves a lot of time,” said Jackie Harm, program director for Angel Air Care program of Bismarck. “Larger hospitals tend to have a helipad but the smaller hospitals tend not to. It’s a great asset to the hospital.”
Krapp said Jamestown Hospital currently uses an air ambulance service an average of three times per month. Currently, the patient is taken by ambulance from the hospital to the airport before being placed on the helicopter. The helipad on hospital grounds will save time and costs for the patient by eliminating the ambulance ride.
“We’ll save a lot of time in getting the patient to the helicopter,” she said. “Getting critical patients out faster can make a big difference.”
Other changes save a few moments and make life easier for the emergency medical technicians and first responders who bring patients to the emergency department.
“The facility will be a lot nicer to get the ambulances in and out of the garages,” said Nancy Miller, business manager for Jamestown Ambulance Service, speaking of the special garage.
The garage has room for two ambulances at a time, with two doors on each end of the garage for entry and exit. It means ambulances will be able to enter and exit the garage without backing up, and more ambulances can enter more quickly.
Miller said response times will vary but on the average not change much for ambulance calls in Jamestown.
“Parts of town like the south will be quicker,” she said. “Most people shouldn’t notice a difference.”
Miller did express a concern about road conditions in winter time making it more difficult to reach the hospital.
“But they assure us the roads will be kept open,” she said.
There is an education process for everyone associated with the emergency department. Drills with the ambulance service and air ambulance services have been scheduled for the weeks leading up to the hospital opening.
“I think we have a huge learning curve ahead of us,” Krapp said. “But the new facility is good for everyone. I like it.”
The emergency department opens for business at 7 a.m. Sunday, July 31. Until that time, patients needing emergency care will continue to be seen at Jamestown Hospital.
Sun reporter Keith Norman can be reached at (701) 952-8452 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org