IRONWOOD - Aspirus Grand View Hospital in Ironwood is finishing up its renovation project on a new emergency department that will allow for care of more patients and more convenience for staff.
The new emergency department is phase two of a three-part project that began September 2013. The first phase, which was completed in May, brought a new pharmacy and outpatient lab, used for procedures like drawing blood and urine analysis
The second phase is the hospital's new emergency department, and the third part, which will begin in about two weeks, will convert the old emergency department into an atrium area that will act as a waiting room.
The project is renovating all currently existing space and is expected to cost about $4 million upon completion in September.
The hospital's new emergency room department will be finished up next week and staff will begin accepting patients on Wednesday.
Renovation work is being done by Miron Construction, out of Neenah, Wis.
HDR, Inc ., known worldwide for designing health care buildings and other facilities, designed the new emergency department, but Julie Monville, nurse manager, said the hospital staff had some input as well.
"Our patients told us that they wanted privacy, and our administration and our board just really let us design the ER that we thought would work best for our patients," Monville said. "They were awesome about letting us really be a huge part of designing it. We picked the number of rooms we wanted, what we wanted in them and they kind of just let us have free reign over everything."
The last real construction project at the hospital was done in 1992, and along with the updates comes some updated technology.
Each of the rooms have an enhanced patient station that allows nurses and patients to communicate.
Attached to the station is a "pillow speaker" with separate buttons that allow patients to alert hospital staff to specific issues.
"Our old system was, a patient pushes a button, they need something," said Sue Finco, emergency room registered nurse. "(Now) if a patient has a cardiac arrest, we can push an actual code blue button to alert staff, or we can push a staff assistance button when we need help. (Patients) can push an actual button for pain."
The pillow speakers also act as remote controls for the TV, have buttons for general need calls, water and even a button letting staff know the patient needs to use the bathroom.
Each button activates a specific light with a different color outside the patient's room, and the calls ring out to the nurses' console at the main desk, letting staff know exactly what the call is for and which room it is coming from.
Patients can also use the pillow speaker as a phone to talk directly with nurses.
"It's going to really help (nurses) prioritize," Monville said.
The 10 private emergency care rooms will all have electronic doors, and cabinet space just outside the room to keep nearly everything care providers would need. The department will have an additional room that will act as a "results pending" room, with three vertical beds that can be used by patients waiting to finish IV fluids or waiting on X-ray results.
An updated security system and additional monitoring equipment will also help staff, Monville said.
"Basically we'll have a monitor in every room that will be able to watch vital signs very closely, heart rhythms and then we'll be able to monitor those at the central station here," Monville said, mentioning new equipment. "Before we had one room with an exam light in it, or two rooms with an exam light, and now we have them in every room. so every room can serve as an equal level of care."
David Sim, manager of marketing at Aspirus Grand View, said once this project is finished it isn't the end of the hospital's plans for the future.
"One of the things that we'd like to do next is to build a new clinic," Sim said, noting it would be on the hospital's campus. "Right now our clinic has some space concerns. It's very cramped, but we really want to sort of open up and make it easier to access and allow for more growth."