Ashe Memorial Hospital has unveiled its latest gem.
In all of its splendor, the hospital’s newly revamped and updated emergency department was opened to the general public Wednesday afternoon with much fanfare from both patients and health care administrators alike.
The transformation from an emergency room to a full department began in December 2015 under the tutelage of Vannoy’s Construction of Jefferson. Tile-by-tile and brick-by-brick, workers have expanded the department’s role in providing an expedited delivery system that focuses on placing patients in the right department so care can be rendered faster than before.
New to the hospital are five “Fast Track” rooms that were implemented to both better serve patients and alleviate congestion in other areas of the department where patients are receiving more intensive care and attention. Those patients who find themselves in a “Fast Track” room are likely destined for a shorter hospital stay as their injuries are not as severe as others, explained Chief Operating Officer Joe Thore. An updated triage unit complements the new additions while streamline operations, too.
The hospital’s enhancements have been long overdue, said Thore.
“The old emergency department was designed in the late 60s and came online in 1971 and had very minor upgrades throughout the year,” said Thore. “The last really good upgrade we had was in 1991, but the configuration was not conducive to good patient care. Plus, the area was so small. We had to take a look at all of the services we had in this block and see how we can move things around in the emergency department. This renovation actually added about 2,400 square feet. That’s what has allowed us to add fast track rooms to the renovated area.”
Two new “multi-purpose” rooms have also been added that can serve both regular patients and those facing involuntary commitments. These rooms can transform from your typical hospital room that comes loaded with standard equipment to a more free and open environment devoid of paraphernalia in a moment’s notice.
To accentuate the level of care, a sub-nursing station has been added between the two rooms that allows nurses and doctors the ability to examine patient’s progress through an observation portal.
“It’s been a great asset,” said ED Nurse Manager Kina Jones of the expansion. “Our new privacy (features) allow you to talk with someone without having to worry about the patient next door hearing you. There is also more room in each room to work. We also have new supply carts that allow us to bring everything we need into the room, so we’re not coming and going in and out of the patient’s room.”
Overall, the upgrades are part of the hospital’s greater goal of providing optimized care with all of the latest technological upgrades.
“This new emergency department is conducive to centralized patient care where the patient comes first,” said AMH CEO Laura Lambeth. “It is a red letter day for Ashe County and the community. This is the community’s hospital. It’s state of the art. It’s here to serve them when needed.”
Reach Jesse Campbell at (336) 846-7164.