It still had that “new car” smell.
That was one of the first impressions Oliver resident Lars (last name withheld by request) had when he arrived at Penticton Regional Hospital’s new emergency department after an unfortunate early morning car accident on Feb. 2.
As a precaution, Lars was taken to PRH to be checked out and, as luck would have it, ended up being the first patient in a new section of the PRH emergency, which had opened the same day.
The new care space is one of several phases of the emergency department renovation that will open this year. Already open is a new patient registration area and exam room and waiting area. But this marked the first major patient care area to open, with new exam bays and trauma rooms.
“They were all separate rooms; they were not just curtained off,” said Lars, 64, referencing the new exam bays – all private, single-patient rooms with sliding doors, enhancing patient privacy and improving infection prevention and control measures.
To have a private room in a place where there is so much activity, sometimes of a sensitive nature, is very important, added Lars.
“From a patient perspective, many times in the curtained rooms you can hear what is happening next door and it can be unnerving for the other patients and there is information being exchanged that other people shouldn’t be privy to,” he said.
Emergency physician Dr. Brent Harrold said the new exam bays give patients the privacy they need.
“The first thing patients will notice is it’s a lot quieter environment,” said Harrold. “We have three private beds in emergency which will provide a lot more privacy and we have two brand new trauma rooms.”
There is also a state of the art care booms in the trauma rooms. The emergency ward now has a brand new ultrasound and ventilator.
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