After more than three years in the making, the expanded and renovated emergency department (ED) at SSM Health St. Francis Hospital will be open for patients beginning at 7 am, September 27.
Community members were given the opportunity to tour the ED renovations and expanded gift shop on September 9.
The new ED space includes four exam rooms, two trauma rooms and a triage room.
“We went from one private room and four semi-private with curtains between the beds to seven private rooms, one being a triage room,” Pat Giffin, ED nurse manager, said. “The waiting room is smaller because with all private rooms, the family can be back with the patient more. We are hoping to get patients out of the waiting room and into exam rooms with the increased number of rooms.”
The triage room will enhance the ability to evaluate a patient in a private setting. Patients have been known to be triaged in the hallways of the old emergency department due to the lack of rooms.
“With the private rooms, we now have all glass fronts which allows us to see patients that we need to keep an eye on,” Giffin continued. “They can all be seen from the nurses’ station except for the triage room, where critical patients should not be kept.”
Trauma rooms are positioned close to the nurses’ station, just inside the ambulance entrance and near the medication supply and EKG machine.
“We also have a special room for patients with eye injuries,” Giffin said. “One of the rooms has been designated for gynecological exams.”
An ED physician is available 24 hours a day. The nurses’ station has been expanded to allow for more staff workspace. The medication supply has been separated from the nurses’ station so nurses are not interrupted while pulling medications.
The unit has been updated with new paint color and flooring. “It’s light and clean and will be wonderful to walk into,” Giffin said.
Hospital gift shop expansion, improvements
SSM Health The Gift Shop is a specialty store operated by auxiliary volunteers.
The new shop, now located near the south front entrance of the hospital, is 83 percent larger.
In addition to more space, lines of merchandise have also been expanded to include a larger supply of baby gifts and Ty stuffed animals. Seasonal gifts and décor, many handmade, are also available. There is a wide selection of Willow Tree and Foundation’s figurines along with the Benedictine Sisters’ handmade soaps, lotions and scrubs. The gift shop also carries greeting cards, scarves, purses and a variety of small toiletries, snacks and candies. One of the newest offerings is SSM Health apparel that can be ordered through the gift shop.
Proceeds from sales are used to fund medical career scholarships and hospital equipment needs.
Store hours are 9 am to 3 pm, with some evening hours. All major credit cards are accepted.