The ED is the new front door of the hospital, says Kathy Kaminsky, RN, MS, CNA, BC, vice president of Clinical Effectiveness at Englewood Hospital and Medical Center (EHMC) in Englewood, N.J.
This is because 30% to 45% of the total admissions and revenue are created by EDs, according to Quorum Health Resources, a hospital consulting and management company.
In addition, all of the new clinical advances in health care require us to look at new ways to design EDs, says Kaminsky.
A creation in the works
Thanks to the generosity of one RN and her husband, EHMC has been able to begin planning for a new state-of-the-art emergency department.
The ED project, which will be funded completely by donations, has received a lead gift of $5 million from Maggie and Bill Kaplen, who launched the fundraising campaign.
My husband and I have been connected to and highly committed to the hospitals development and growth for many years, explains Maggie Kaplen, RN, BSN. This is our community and our hospital. We have been patients here and our parents have been cared for here. By improving the hospital, we enhance our community.
Kaplens donation is a reflection of her interest in the community and in nursing. Nursing was something that I always wanted to do. Even though I originally went to college to become a teacher, I never forgot about nursing, she explains.
Kaplen eventually followed her passion and enrolled in the Dominican College nursing program as an adult. She graduated with her BSN and worked as a private duty nurse in end-of-life care.
Nursing is what I love, Kaplen adds. I am committed to the profession and to encouraging it as a career for others.
In addition to their generosity and work with EHMC, the Kaplens also give a full four-year scholarship annually to a student in the Dominican nursing program. We are privileged to help and are proud of the 16 students whom we have encouraged to enter the nursing profession, she adds.
Plans for the future
Planning a new ED requires careful planning with an eye to future needs. Four or five years ago, our strategic plan was to study where the next critical needs would be.
The ED was at the top of the list, Kaplen says. Setting out to plan an ED with a focus on improved patient safety increased efficiency, decreased patient throughput time, and increased patient and employee satisfaction, with a multifaceted approach and a multidisciplinary team.
Nursing has had a voice in the process from the start, even when it came to interviewing the architecture firms, says Terry Bertolotti, RN, MSN, CEN, Patient Care director of the ED. We looked at our current workflow, what works and what does not, and what kinds of changes we needed to make. It has been very exciting to be in on the project from the beginning.
Kaplen and her husband are not the only ones excited about the new ED. In addition to funds raised in the community, employees themselves have a fundraising campaign.
The new 35,000-square-foot facility, which will open in the fall of 2009, will have 40 private treatment rooms and decentralized nursing stations.
The patient rooms will be designed to meet patient and family needs as they change throughout the day, says Kaminsky. The rooms will have three zones one for the clinician with a computer and supplies, a patient zone, and a family zone. The rooms are designed to provide patient privacy, permit humanistic care, and reduce noise. The ED will also have specialty areas for pediatrics, psychiatry, trauma, and sexual assault patients. We are taking everything into account, from comfortable waiting rooms with an internet café and a childrens waiting room to ergonomic design and safe patient handling equipment, says Kaminsky.
Patient satisfaction at the heart
The Press Ganeys 2006 Hospital Pulse Report: Patient Perspectives on American Health Care, says that patient satisfaction is lower (82.6%) when patients are admitted from an ED than from other points (85.1%).
We want an ED that can decrease patient throughput time and increase the satisfaction of our patients and our employees, says Bertolotti. We have asked for feedback from everyone who works here staff nurses, technicians, ambulance drivers, and physicians. They have reviewed the plans and we have made changes
in the design based on their ideas. And they want an ED that meets the needs of their community. We are a community hospital, and we project that we will have 42,000 visits this year in the new ED, says Kaminsky.
Kaplen agrees. It is important to support the nursing profession and our local community hospitals. She has a special place in her heart for the work and care that is provided by nurses. Although she no longer works as a nurse, she has always understood the challenges and the commitment that come with the profession and is passionate about her involvement.
Writing a check is easy, Kaplen explains. Sharing your good fortune is a privilege but making the commitment to make a difference is essential.