Since last fall, Easton Hospital’s emergency room went through three stages of renovations, and Thursday it was officially unveiled at a ribbon cutting ceremony.
A strand of gauze was used in place of the traditional ribbon to symbolize the care given to patients.
“The emergency department is the gateway to Easton Hospital,” Easton Hospital’s CEO John Zidansek said. “Many of our patients begin their experience in our emergency room, so we want to ensure that the environment, the staff and the care are beyond measure.”
The main focus of the $1.2 million renovations, done by Alvin H. Butz Inc. of Allentown, was geared around the hospital’s geriatric patients.
“The number of patients coming into the emergency room often times can be older,” said Stephen Wilson, Easton Hospital’s vice president of marketing. “The number of folks in the area over 65 is growing, so we want to make sure we have what they need.”
Renovations include no-skid and no-glare flooring, softer lighting, thicker mattress pads and less-distracting color palettes.
In addition, both the main entrance and patient registration areas were remodeled for patients to get in and registered more easily. The ambulance entrance for the emergency medical services personnel was updated, as well. The nurses’ station was expanded, and glass doors were added to many patient rooms for control of noise and infectious disease.
New equipment was added, including wheelchairs, monitoring systems and wall-mounted equipment.
While renovations were underway, the hospital earned certification from Nurses Improving Care for Health System Elders, a New York University College of Nursing program.
“This certification improves the staff competencies in geriatric care,” said Karen Vadyak, chief nursing officer for Easton Hospital. “Our goal is to ensure patients over the age of 65 can maintain their independence by returning home and functioning independently in their home environments.”
Also for its renovations, Easton Hospital was named an advanced certification for primary stroke center by The Joint Commission, a nationally recognized accreditation organization.
“Our stroke alert process streamlines care,” said Easton Hospital’s director of emergency medicine Dr. David Ligor. “When a patient presents, our emergency room staff can respond efficiently and effectively.”