With an average occupancy rate of 158% in 2009-2010, a project to decongest the ER for the benefit of patients and the medical team is currently under review. This project includes the addition of seven stretchers, bringing the total to 22. The new stretchers will provide a better environment for infection control. Confidentiality and privacy of patients will be efficiently assured.
The project also includes the addition of a CT scan in the ER. "Having a CT scan adjacent to the ED will give us more rapid access to advanced diagnostic imaging. This allows the ER to respond more effectively to the critical needs of our patients and will have a positive impact on patient care, safety and flow," says Dr. Rick Mah, chief of the Emergency Department at SMHC.
In addition, this project will include a separate area for patients with mental health problems who need a stretcher, which will provide a better response to their specific needs. Finally, the new facilities will be appropriate to serve as a designated area during a pandemic, with controlled access to the place of care and better conditions for the isolation of these patients.