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Continued investments make the Emergency Department a better place to work and receive care

Over the last several years, Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital has been investing in renovations to make the environment of care in the Emergency Department better for both our staff and our patients.

With increased volume came the need for an expansion project that was completed several years ago. Included in that plan was the opening of an Emergency Department Observation Unit on the fifth floor. That project was completed in phases, with the first six beds opening in June of 2019 and another six beds opening in March of 2022.

“In the main ED, our expansion project gave us 12 new patient care spaces, including three care initiation rooms, a bariatric room, an isolation room, two behavioral safe rooms and several universal treatment rooms for a total of 27 treatment spaces for patients seeking care. We also gained a results pending area that can accommodate additional patients, along with the necessary support space to meet the increased demand, and we had the space to redesign our patient intake process,” says Emergency Department Nurse Director Robin Powell, MSN, RN, CEN. “The Observation Unit serves patients who need just a little more time in the ED, but don’t need to be admitted as an inpatient. There patients receive regular clinical rounding by emergency medicine and nursing specialists, medication administration, diagnostic testing, care coordination and social worker support, as well as consultation services when needed, all while reducing crowding in the main Emergency Department.”

All of these efforts have greatly improved workflows and created a more inviting space for patients. However, in the original areas of the Emergency Department that were not impacted by the renovations and expansion, it became clear that cosmetic upgrades were needed to enhance the environment for both staff and patients. In the latest round of improvements, the space was rejuvenated with new flooring, new paint and bumpers and a sliding door to the negative pressure room among other repairs. In addition, most recently, old duct work was removed from the ambulance bay resulting in a more open and welcoming feel in that area.

“It’s amazing what a few cosmetic upgrades can do,” says Powell. “Now the older sections of the ED look just as fresh and clean as our brand-new spaces. For me personally, it feels empowering to work in a space where the physical environment reflects the high level of care we provide.”

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