IRONWOOD — Aspirus Grand View Hospital recently received approval from the board of directors to begin a $4 million renovation to the emergency room, chief operating officer Paula Chermside said.
Chermside has been at Grand View for four months, and previously served as vice president of Mid-Michigan Medical Center-Gratiot in Alma for almost 20 years.
The project results from patient dissatisfaction with confidentiality issues in the emergency room, as many of the beds in the current configuration are separated by only curtains, said emergency room manager Julie Monville. The renovation will provide individual rooms for patients, with more room for visitors, Monville said.
The nursing station will be central to all of the rooms, with glass doors on the patient rooms to allow for monitoring, Monville said. Each room will have cardiac monitoring.
Another addition will be a triage room for patient intake, where testing and lab work will be done right away, even if the patient needs to go back to the waiting room, said Monville.
The triage concept will allow for patients in a higher state of emergency to be seen first, with patients in a lower state of emergency being able to be seen by a nurse practitioner or a physician’s assistant, Monville said.
Improvements will include a security feature for staff and patients, giving staff the ability to lock the unit down in case of an emergency.
A room for patients to wait for results of testing will be available, which will open up the emergency rooms for more acute patients.
“The additional privacy will be good and there will be less noise and chaos,” said Steve Phillipson, hospitalist. “Patients will have televisions in their room, so that they will have something to look at besides the wall.”
When designing the rooms, special consideration was taken to make them accessible for geriatric patients.
Special furniture, easy to see call lights, and the ability to dim lighting are all features that the rooms will offer, Monville said.
The next step in the project is to request bids from construction companies, with an estimated timeline for the renovations at between nine months to a year, said Chermside. It is the first of many projects to prepare for the future of the hospital, she said.
The hospital’s building committee will discuss the next steps in improving and expanding outpatient services.
“A lot of community hospitals are going out of business. but Aspirus Grand View has a strong staff, which is why we continue to exist. We have served the community for 90 years, and we are preparing for the next 90,” said Chermside.
“Most care can be provided right here, with the exception of neurosurgery, massive trauma, or cardiology,” Phillipson said. “Rehabilitation and follow-up can be done here, as well.”
If a patient does need to be sent to a different hospital, they are stabilized first, which is crucial, said Monville. “I just heard from a man who said that he would have lost his leg without the initial care at Aspirus Grand View,” she said.