Guthrie Robert Packer Hospital’s Level II Trauma Center serves an enormous geographic area, spanning nearly 10,000 square miles and 11 counties in north-central Pennsylvania and south-central New York. Built to accommodate 28,000 visits per year, our 2017 Emergency Department (ED) volume was nearly 37,000, representing a 32 percent increase over capacity. The hospital’s “front door,” 48 percent of all inpatient admissions come through the ED. It is the region’s major medical command facility. Most EMS communications are coordinated through it, and a medical helicopter is based here. Based on historic and projected use, our ED requires nearly double the space – 26,000 square feet.
The patients who rely on our Emergency Department’s critical care – along with their families and the physicians, nurses, and other medical staff striving to save lives even as space runs out – all understand the many reasons for and the benefits of such an expansion of the Emergency Department. Donations to Guthrie’s Forward Together campaign will fund these expansions and enhancements, helping Guthrie provide better patient care in critical situations when every moment counts.
Expansions Will Enhance Coordinated, Patient-Centered Care
Most importantly, Emergency Department expansion means more space for each patient. Treatment rooms in Guthrie Robert Packer Hospital’s new ED will each measure approximately 132 square feet. Larger treatment rooms enable the entire caregiver team to meet with a patient at one time, essential when a medical condition requires multiple specialists’ expertise or several levels of care.
The new ED will feature individual patient rooms with sliding doors, helping to keep conversations between care providers, family members, and the patient private.
Patients’ Safety and Convenience Are a Priority
Improved patient flow will eliminate traditional bottlenecks. This means each patient will progress more quickly through the evaluation and treatment process. Our ultimate goal is that no patients coming into our Emergency Department will spend time sitting in the waiting area. Beyond the convenience factor and the benefits of faster treatment, this will eliminate the now-common experience of patients sitting side-by-side with sicker patients, which increases the risk of shared infections.
Streamlined processes and new technology will also be part of our Emergency Department critical expansion. In the enhanced ED, each patient can expect to share his or her medical history and current symptoms just once. Patients and family members will not be asked to repeat personal information or health status to each caregiver. Instant sharing of a patient’s medical information with the entire care team will reduce errors and improve patient satisfaction.