An Emergency Department designed for efficiency

One in five Americans visit a hospital emergency room every year. That means nearly everyone has either been themselves, or knows someone who has gone to an emergency room.

The emergency department at Essentia’s new St. Mary’s medical center was designed with that statistic in mind.

Here is our full interview about the Essentia Emergency Room.

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Of course none of us ever want to take a trip to a hospital emergency room, but if we do, it’s good to know they are well-equipt to take care of us.

“What I really enjoy about our new E.R. space is that it was designed to be an E.R,.” St. Mary’s emergency room Dr. Chris Peters said.

“In a lot of older hospitals, the E.R. was placed in an area that wasn’t designed for it. Hospitals just kind of made do,” he told us. “Where your imaging is, is where it was.”

Glancing back and forth as we stood in one of the new trauma rooms, Dr. Peters said, “But here everything was designed with flow in mind so that when that critical patient comes even from if they’re coming on a helicopter versus the front door, it’s a straight line to the E.R.”

St. Mary’s is the only level one adult trauma center in the region. Dr. Peters says this new emergency department was designed to efficiently treat patients whether they need stitches or cpr.

“Our imaging is ten feet from our trauma bays from where we see our stroke patients,” he said. “And then when we disposition them, whether it’s to one operating room or another, it’s streamlined so that they can get there as soon as possible.”

St. Mary’s emergency room registered nurse Janelle Videen says advanced imaging, such as CT, x-ray and ultrasound machines are all located right within the emergency department itself.

“We have four amazing trauma rooms with specialized equipment in them. It’s easy to get through from one place to the other. Like Chris was saying, getting to see with our trauma patients, it’s not down a big, long hallway anymore it is right in the department.”

And something that is also quite unique in the new St. Mary’s emergency department is a specialized area specifically for psychiatric emergencies.

“We have a dedicated behavioral health unit with some beds that are designed to be very, very safe for behavioral health patients who are having mental health crises and having a safe environment for them,” Videen said.

Dr. Peters added, “The entire quarter of our ERs is a designed unit so that we can provide psychiatric care, consultations, arrange disposition as needed, so that we’re not that someone with a psychiatric emergency isn’t being seen in a medical area that could be used for for more medical complaint.”

From design flow, to state of the art technology, to a high-speed elevator from the heli-pad, St. Mary’s new emergency department is designed and equipped for those moments in life when seconds really matter.