The Transylvania Times -

New ER Opens At Hospital - Brevard, NC


December 18, 2017

Transylvania Regional Hospital’s (TRH) new emergency department opens today, providing more space for doctors and nurses to work, as well as allowing for a higher quality of treatment for the patient, according to Michele Pilon, president and chief nursing officer of TRH.

Pilon and Emergency Department Manager Alison Fore gave a media tour of the new department at an open house for the building last Wednesday.

Vertical Care

“The vertical care area (is) for patients coming in for minor ailments,” Pilon said. “What’s important to patients in the emergency department is that they get in quickly to be treated and they get to a bed if they are going to be admitted or get to go home if they aren’t, so this allows them to sit in a chair instead of reclining in a stretcher, be treated, admitted or leave.”

In the vertical care room was a room called the physician consult area.

“If the physician needs to have further discussion with the patient, then they can do that behind closed doors, which allows for privacy, and it also gives the patient a place to grieve if there has been a death or catastrophic injury, and we didn’t have that in the previous facility,” she said.

Behavioral Health Rooms

There are four regular treatment rooms that can be converted to behavioral health rooms, with an electric, garage door that lowers in front of the wall that has the medical equipment. “In our current emergency department we don’t have safe spaces for behavior health patients,” Pilon said. “So, these are considered safe rooms, with unbreakable glass, and a sink configured differently than a regular sink, with rounded edges, and a TV completely enclosed in glass.”

Fore said the rooms are monitored at all times at the nurse’s station, except when they are occupied by non-behavioral health patients.

“It’s safe to say we don’t have this in our previous emergency department,” Pilon said. “We have to configure the room, lock cabinet doors and move things out to make them safe.”

Donor Named Rooms

Many of the rooms, such as the behavioral health rooms, had ribbons across the door, with a plaque of the donor’s name or organization.

For example, on one of the behavioral health rooms there is a plaque with “NAMI-TA” engraved in it.

“This is the National Association of Mental Illness of Transylvania County,” Fore said.

Pilon said they donated money to make the rooms a safer space for the behavioral health patients.

The money donated from the people and organizations for the rooms totaled $875,000, and the remaining amount also came from donations from the community.

“Actually, $7.8 million was donated to rebuild the emergency department, so we have a very generous community that really cares about this hospital,” Pilon said.

Isolation Rooms

Though there were isolation rooms in the old emergency department, Fore said they had to breakdown two rooms side by side in order to make one isolation room.

“You’ve got to have an anteroom to keep a negative pressure area on one room, and then have access by another room, so now we have two entirely separate isolation rooms, with one anteroom that allows it to stay negative pressure,” Fore said.

She said negative pressure keeps germs in the room, and any air that may be contagious is filtered before it goes out into the hospital, where it could contaminate another patient.

An alarm will go off if there is a contamination, which, Fore said, is a feature they did not have in the previous emergency department.

Decontamination Room

Where the ambulance drops off patients, Fore said, there is a larger, “state-of-the-art” decontamination area at the entry.

“This would be for a person who turns over his tractor and got gasoline all over their body, or someone covered in pesticide, or someone from a meth lab,” Fore said. “They would be brought into this room immediately, through the entry door that would keep the rest of the people in the hospital from being contaminated, as well, and sprayed off and cleaned.”

Trauma Rooms

There are two trauma rooms that Fore said are larger than the previous trauma rooms.

“We can get more equipment, such as an x-ray machine, respiratory equipment and more people depending on what’s going on,” Fore said.

Nurses’ Area

The nurses’ area, Fore said, is three-times larger than the previous area, with a private room, so that nurses can fill prescriptions without interruption.

“Right now we have an ATM-like machine in the middle of the nurses’ station, where during peak hours there are people bumping into each other, trying to talk on the phone and fill prescriptions. So, now, they have this private room outside of all the activity to concentrate.”

Staff Lounge

There is also a larger staff room, Fore said, that includes a shower, which the previous staff room did not have.

“In the past we would have to leave the unit and shower,” Fore said.

In total, the new department has 12 rooms, and four in the vertical area.

“Before, we had 10 rooms and six spaces, whether it’s a rocking chair, a recliner or a hall bed,” Pilon said. “Now people will have the privacy of rooms, or the privacy of screens in the vertical care area.”

Fore said the plan is to move a CAT Scan and MRI machine into the previous department, which is still in the planning stages, as well as to use it for storage.

Fore finished the tour by stating that she wants people to feel that they can come to this new emergency department instead of driving all the way to Mission Hospital.

“Patients deserve to be treated in their community,” Fore said.


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