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 The leading web portal for pharmacy resources, news, education and careers November 20, 2017
Pharmacy Choice - Pharmaceutical News - United Hospital's emergency center expansion is designed to cut wait times [Pioneer Press, St. Paul, Minn.] - November 20, 2017

Pharmacy News Article

 9/13/17 - United Hospital's emergency center expansion is designed to cut wait times [Pioneer Press, St. Paul, Minn.]

Sept. 13New renovations to United Hospital revealed Tuesday are designed to curb wait times and promote patient safety.

A ribbon cutting for the St. Paul hospital's $1.4 million emergency care center expansion was held Tuesday morning. Improvements include: six new care spaces, a shared welcome desk for United and Children's Hospital and security personnel, larger triage areas and hybrid rooms for medical and mental health patients.

"It is really important for me that we have an amazing emergency department for our community, and that's why we really wanted to focus additional effort on giving our caregivers what they need," said Tom O'Connor, United Hospital president.

The expansion, funded by the Peter J. King Family Foundation, took six months to complete.

At the western edge of downtown St. Paul, United Hospital serves more than 200,000 patients and their families each year. Its emergency center sees 138 patients on an average day. It's staffed by 56 physicians, 84 registered nurses and 32 support staff.

Patient comments to staff in July mentioned "wait" or "waiting" 75 times, said David Schmoyer, emergency department director for United Hospital. The expansion should improve that experience, hospital officials said.

Celina Baars, an assistant clinical manager and registered nurse at United Hospital, said a new "fast-track" area will help improve patient gridlock. The area will be used for patients with minor injuries, Baars said.

Modifications to enhance the hospital's mental health services were also made.

Several medical care rooms were converted into "hybrid" rooms to serve both medical and mental health patients. Medical staff previously had to remove any harmful items or equipment from the rooms when caring for suicidal patients. This process was demanding, Baars said.

"We put a lot of effort into safety. We put a lot of effort into patient experience," Schmoyer said.


(c)2017 the Pioneer Press (St. Paul, Minn.)

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