Sunday, July 28, 2013

Easton Hospital emergency department remodeling aims to improve patient satisfaction

Easton Hospital emergency department remodeling aims to improve patient satisfaction
Easton Hospital Emergency Department Director Dr. David Ligor, center, seated Thursday at a nursing station, says the remodeling that began this week aims to improve patient satisfaction and outcome at the Wilson Borough facility. sits and talks to colleague about the upcoming changes the emergence center of Easton hospital will be going threw the next few months. Express-Times Photo | CORINNE HEFT (Express-Times Photo | CORINNE HEFT)
Special to The Express-TimesBy Special to The Express-Times 
on July 27, 2013 at 5:30 AM, updated July 27, 2013 at 5:32 AM
For The Express-Times
Easton Hospital this week began a $1 million-plus remodeling of its emergency department that is expected to wrap up in December.
Geared partly toward improving care for senior citizens, the changes will help increase overall patient satisfaction and care, officials at the Wilson Borough facility said.
The work will occur in three phases. The first phase, completion of a new entrance and registration area, is expected to be completed in mid-August. The second phase of the project should begin and end in September and will involve improving the ambulance entrance.
The renovations coincide with the hospital pursuing Nurses Improving Care for Health System Elders, or NICHE, certification. The New York University College of Nursing program aims to help hospitals improve the care of the elderly population.
The third phase of the remodeling is specific to compliance with the certification. It involves the installation of nonglare lighting, easy-to-read signs, thick mattress padding on stretchers to prevent pressure wounds, and nonskid, nonglare floor surfaces to avoid falls.
“Looking at the demographics, there’s a lot of people 65 and older in the area,” said Christine Biege, the hospital’s vice president of quality and support services. “That’s the population we primarily serve and it’s important to tailor to their needs.”
Dawn Marie Tuers, the hospital’s NICHE coordinator, said the certification effort aims to improve the hospital staff’s understanding of health issues in the elderly population and create positive outcomes for the patients and their family.
“It improves the staff competence in geriatric care specifically, tending to the elderly and their specific issues,” Tuers said.
Both Tuers and the hospital’s chief nursing officer, Karen Vadyak, who is overseeing the NICHE certification, said NICHE is about allowing older patients to maintain their independence.
“Really what we’re trying to ensure is that patients over the age of 65 maintain their independence and that they’re able to return home and function independently in their (home) environments,” Vadyak said.
Other improvements being made as part of the remodeling include installing opaque glass doors on the critical care rooms, a new counter top for the nurses’ station and new furniture in the waiting room.
Director of the Emergency Department Terry Ciccarone said the addition of the doors in particular will allow for more privacy, which research has shown leads to a better outcome for the patient.
“There are many things that have been identified throughout the country as patient satisfiers, mainly the privacy piece of it,” Ciccarone said. The doors “will allow for a lot more privacy, a lot more quiet.”
David Ligor, chairman of emergency medicine at Easton Hospital, said he hopes the remodeling will create a warmer environment.
“We’re a community hospital and our patients are like family for us, so we want to make sure we have a nice environment to receive their care,” Ligor said.

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