By WAQAS NAEEM
Primary patient care can enjoy better health at the Boone Hospital Center now.
On Tuesday morning, the hospital held a reception to unveil the renovations done to its emergency department. Hospital president Daniel Rothery said the changes made to the department were the result of several years of planning.
“It’s high time these folks got a nice place to work,” Rothery said about the renovations.
The project for the emergency department resulted in:
- A bigger waiting area.
- Four new emergency rooms.
- A second nurses’ station in front of the new rooms.
- Design improvements in the patient registration area.
The project cost $1.8 million and was funded by the hospital’s operating fund.
Chris Vaughan, manager of the Emergency Department, said the department receives more than 33,000 patients every year and the additions would help the department better serve patients.
“Waiting times vary between six to eight hours in emergency departments across the country,” Vaughan said. “We are very fortunate in mid-Missouri to have that down to two to three hours, but we are still trying to increase our efficiency and bring that waiting time down.”
The new rooms bring the total tally of emergency rooms in the department to 16. They offer more interior space and the new nurses’ station built in front of them will ensure better patient observation, Vaughan said.
The renovations also dealt with improving the emergency department’s reception area.
“One of the biggest changes we made as part of the design was to improve the waiting area and the triage.” Vaughan said.
The triage — the first stop for patients to get registered when they come to the emergency department — was just an open walk-up desk with limited privacy prior to the renovations, Vaughan said. Now, it has been expanded to accommodate more patients. The new waiting area in front of the triage would help keep the triage area less crowded as well, Vaughan said.
Hospital spokesman Jacob Luecke said the renovation started in August 2009 and took almost a year to complete.
”They kept the original emergency department open during the construction process so it took a little longer,” Luecke said. “It was a piece by piece building process.”
The reception was held in the newly renovated section of the emergency department and was attended by doctors, hospital staff and members of the Columbia Chamber of Commerce.