- Associated Press - Tuesday, October 10, 2017

MURPHYSBORO, Ill. (AP) - St. Joseph Memorial Hospital emergency department staff hosted an open house for staff and the public to show off remodeled emergency department rooms completed as the first phase of a redesign project for the department.

“Over the years, we’ve seen a change in the care we give, mostly related to transferring patients out to other facilities,” Sue Odle, administrator of St. Joseph Memorial Hospital, said.

The hospital also has seen an increase in numbers of behavioral health cases and critical patients who have longer stays in the emergency rooms, as well as changes in the way care is delivered.

Two of the patient rooms and a restroom are designed specifically for behavioral health patients, with extra attention paid to safety. For example, potential ligature points that would allow a patient to harm himself or herself have been removed or can be covered with roll-down, locking doors. Curtains are on the outside of windows.

“People who are in crisis are in a lot of pain. They will look for any way they can self-harm,” Odle said.

In the restroom, the mirror is unbreakable. Plumbing is covered or inside the wall. Careful attention was paid to ligature points, but the most impressive feature is the door. If is fitted with piano hinges on the outside and a break-away facing that allows quick, easy access if a patient tries to barricade himself or herself inside. The rooms also have hard ceilings.

Emergency Department Director Mark Yates said the door also will allow staff to access a patient who faints or has a cardiac event.

One of the behavioral health rooms has a wall of windows, giving staff at the nurse’s station full view of the room. The other features a door within a door and a large window. It is located next to a decontamination shower.

The shower has a faucet for washing head and hair and a full body spray. It can be used to decontaminate a patient and also EMS providers. Odle said cases like a meth lab might require a patient to need the shower. Yates said the shower is big enough to accommodate a stretcher, if necessary.

The second room also features a large window and can be secured with a door in a door pass through. It, too, will have roll-down doors to cover supplies and oxygen. In the second room, the traditional bed has been replaced with a recliner. Odle said studies have shown that some behavioral health patients are more comfortable in a setting that is less like a hospital room.

“Our intent is to spread behavioral health rooms across the system to the other two emergency departments (in Herrin and Carbondale),” Odle said.

The remodel includes two traditional patient rooms with extra space to accommodate equipment. Little conveniences have been added for the staff and patient families, such as additional chairs that fold and hang on the wall when they are not in use.

The nurses’ station is large and spacious, with room for multiple staff members to work and still be close to patients. Separate rooms house nutrition and medication.

“I’m really proud of our staff. Most of the changes they suggested were directly in patient care areas,” Odle said.

Phase two will include removing a wall and creating four additional patient care rooms in the emergency department. Odle said the project will improve the flow of staff and benefit patient care.


Source: The (Carbondale) Southern Illinoisan, https://bit.ly/2wDv1mA


Information from: Southern Illinoisan, https://www.southernillinoisan.com

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