UMass Memorial HealthAlliance-Clinton Hospital in Leominster is finished with phase one of their new Emergency Department. This is a view of their new entrance. SENTINEL & ENTERPRISE/JOHN LOVE
LEOMINSTER -- A "light years" leap in improvement was how one official described the new Emergency Department at UMass Memorial HealthAlliance-Clinton Hospital.
Phase one of the project was unveiled at an open house ceremony recently.
"This is a huge step forward for our community," said CEO and President Deborah Weymouth of the hospital, which will increase the number of patient beds from 24 to 37. She said the upgrade will address two of the most pressing concerns patients have when visiting the emergency room -- wait times and lack of privacy.
"This (renovation) expands our emergency room, plus each room has glass doorways, so you'll have privacy when you talk to your clinician, unlike now where there's curtains," Weymouth said.
UMass Memorial HealthAlliance-Clinton Hospital in Leominster is finished with phase one of their new Emergency Department. One of their new emergency rooms. SENTINEL & ENTERPRISE/JOHN LOVE
"It improves infection control and improves your ability to interact with your physician, so you can get the focused attention that you deserve."
The state-of-the-art Emergency Department, which is scheduled to open officially on Jan 28., will include a private behavioral health area for patients in need of supervision. The lobby includes a new security area and metal detector. The area will also feature patient storage lockers and a fully stocked nutrition center. Children will be able to keep themselves occupied in the waiting room by playing a video that is projected from the ceiling onto the floor.
The new emergency department, which is bigger than the old one by about 12,000 square feet, was designed with the full input from the hospital's caregivers.
Director Nancy Seskas said she was impressed by the amount of thoughtfulness the designers put into making the new department caregiver-friendly, especially in regards to the most critical factor in any emergency time.
"All the emergency equipment, labeling, and safe patient care is now right at our fingertips," Seskas said. "The administration listened (to the caregivers) and every idea was included in this emergency department.
UMass Memorial HealthAlliance-Clinton Hospital in Leominster is finished with phase one of their new Emergency Department. The waiting area just inside the new entrance. SENTINEL & ENTERPRISE/JOHN LOVE
Officials said the renovations would continue in four more phases and were expected to be completed by the spring of 2020. The ongoing work was not expected to disrupt any services within the emergency department, and officials said every effort would be made to keep construction noise to a minimum and away from peak hours.
Other upgrades visitors will notice are the heated sidewalks in front of the new entrance, a new coffee shop in the lobby, and plenty of cell-phone charging outlets in the waiting room.