Ask Carol Howard about conditions at the Saratoga Hospital Emergency Department (ER is just the title of a TV show).
Carol will tell you. Carol is the senior nurse on duty with the Emergency Department and she has seen it grow from serving 18,000 patients to 36,000 patients a year.
This in a facility built to see 18,200. That's 14 rooms with 1,300 visits planned per room each year.
Carol will tell you when Angelo Carbone, president of Saratoga Hospital says Tight, Busy, Cramped he is accurately describing conditions. And he didn't mention beds in the corridors because of lack of space in the storage rooms.
Carol will tell you though conditions may be cramped under the leadership of Dr Timothy Brooks patients are being seen and provided with top professional care.
But things can be better and will be better. Dr Brooks, the Emergency Department medical director says that it's a Bad Day when anyone uses the ER but Bad Days can be made better.
The start was made Wednesday April 30 on the new wing housing the Emergency Department. The crew headed by Saratoga Care president Angelo Carbone with Hospital Board Chair Deane Pfeil, Dr Timothy Brooks, Operations VP Kevin Ronanye, Carol Howard RN and Mary Gavin Foundation Board Chair tossed the first symbolic shovels of dirt to break ground for the project.
The project will go from 8,000 sq ft of the current Emergency Department to about 65,000 sq ft. The Emergency Department will use about 30,000 sq ft of the new facility. 44 new rooms will be added.
Those 44 rooms will include 4 trauma/resuscitation bays, 4 isolation rooms, 6 bed psychiatric/drug & alcohol treatment area, 16 general acute care rooms, 6 bed prompt care unit for less serious illnesses.
State-of-the-art treatment rooms with full cardiac monitoring,
X-ray and CT treatment.
Isolation rooms directly accessible from outside with a decontamination shower.
Negative pressure rooms for respiratory isolation. If necessary the entire department can be put under negative pressure.
The facility will meet or exceed the latest Homeland Security Standards.
The new Emergency Department is expected to open next summer in 2009 and the facility fully complete before 2010.
The facility will handle up to 50,000 patient visits a year. The Hospital will also be adding up to 40 additional personnel for the facility.
The Emergency Department will take up about half the space in the new facility. The Intensive Care Unit will occupy the second floor and the Medical Surgical Unit will occupy the third floor..
The ground-breaking for the new Emergency Department was also time for Mary Gavin, Chair of the Hospital Foundation to call on the community for support.
Even though State and Federal funding will provide much of ther $30 million needed for the construction $5 million will have to be raised from our Saratoga community.
Gavin reported that already early donors recognizing the need for the facility had provided over one-half million to begin the community drive.
Gavin cited and thanked early contributors including Tom and Kristie Roohan, Steve and Yvonne Sullivan, Philly Dake, AC Riley, Bonacio Construction.
The drive is underway and much needs to be accomplish.
For information visit www.saratogacare.org or call 587-3222.