By Vanessa Kahin/Roswell Daily Record
When Janelle Raborn, interim CEO of Lovelace Regional Hospital, saw the facility’s emergency room, she saw a need — for more space, more staff and faster service.
The hospital’s current ER has only three rooms. Its cramped space does not allow for a storage area. Because patients come to the ER for about as many reasons as there are patients, ER equipment should be varied and easily accessible. However, in Lovelace Regional Hospital’s ER, equipment is “stored” along a wall.
Limited space translates to limited ability to help patients in a timely fashion.
“Some patients would … leave and forgo treatment,” Raborn said. “That’s a concern to us.” To improve what is arguably its most urgent service, the hospital will soon have a second ER space, set to open on Monday. This additional ER will feature four areas where patients may be seen and treated.
The addition, Raborn said, will be a “fast track” where patients who are not in need of crucial care may be treated. She said she hoped the additional ER space will reduce one of the biggest issues the hospital was having — patients who left the ER before being treated due to a long wait time.
Raborn said the new ER — which will not replace the old ER, but simply add more emergency space — was a project spearheaded by Dawn Tschabrun, hospital chief operating officer and chief nursing officer.
“It’s exciting to be able to provide additional care to our community,” Tscha-brun said.
It was impossible to simply expand the current ER as doing so would have encumbered the hospital’s radiology department. Instead, the additional ER space is just a few feet away. Tschabrun said both ER spaces will share a physician; also, newly recruited nursing staff will support the second ER. The additional staff bumps up Lovelace Regional’s ER personnel from 35 to 43.
The new ER space will have a room dedicated to storage. Aside from the individual patient spaces marked off by curtains, the new ER space will have a room to offer a patient more privacy, Raborn said.
“It’s much nicer,” Raborn said of the storage area in the new ER space. “It allows for more flow.”
The hospital still only has one ER entrance. Patients presenting an emergency will first be admitted to triage and be medically assessed to determine the severity of the condition, Tschabrun said. Patients will then be admitted to the appropriate ER space.
The opening of the new ER space coincides with the opening of the Lovelace Regional Hospital Family and Urgent Care Clinic. Tschabrun said the clinic, located on North Main Street, will be open from 7 a.m.-7 p.m., Mondays-Fridays with limited hours on weekends. Tschabrun said the clinic, which will accept walk-ins, will be a resource for primary medical care for children and adults alike.
“March 19 will be a big day in Roswell,” Tschabrun said. “Lovelace has brought so much ability to enhance the services to our community.”
Source: Roswell Daily Record