Source:  Teaneck Suburbanite, Wednesday, September 3, 2008

HNH opens expanded Emergency Care Center

By Howard Prosnitz, Staff Writer

Dr. Richard SchwabGleaming hardwood floors, open areas with abundant light and expanded patient care rooms are some of the improvements in the $22 million expansion of Holy Name Hospital's Emergency Care Center. The new emergency room addition opened on Aug. 25 and admitted its first patient at 5 a.m. that day.

The expansion increases the number of beds from 17 to 41.

Waiting Room window"We are bigger and better," said Dr. Richard Schwab. Holy Name's Director of Emergency Medicine, who estimates that a patient entering with a minor injury should be discharged within an hour.

"The emergency room has been designed for improving our efficiency so that there is minimal wait. As soon as you arrive, you are triaged and moved into one of our treatment areas," said Schwab, who expects to add a meter-greeter who will be stationed outside and will determine whether the incoming patient should be triaged or moved into one of the rapid treatment areas.

Medical Library at HNHWhile Schwab did not address the issue of competition among hospitals, he noted that the Holy Name's catchment area overlaps with that of Hackensack University Medical Center and Englewood Hospital.

"We are doing the best we can for our catchment area," he said.

The new emergency room is built around a central station and includes four pods of treatment areas.

One pod always remains open and the others are opened as needed. "The central station is the brain of the emergency room where they have the computers with the information about every patient in every room," said former Teaneck Mayor Jacqueline Kates, who, with former Mayor Paul Ostrow, is employed by Holy Name's public relations department.

Medical Coordination Center of HNHThe ER also includes a separate pediatrics department, a room equipped for dental emergencies, gynecological examining rooms equipped with showers and a screen area for psychiatric patients, which can double as a private place for families who are grieving over bad news.

The new ER also includes a new ambulance entrance with an adjacent lounge supplied with food and beverages where EMTs can write up their reports. Decontamination showers for Hazmat emergencies are nearby.

Instead of cramped cubicles, patient rooms are spacious and most are equipped for single patient occupancy.

A computer with online access and a telephone are available at each patient's bedside.

At the basement level below the ER, Holy Name has added an auditorium with three smaller rooms that will be used for both hospital and community events.

Kates noted that despite its growth, Holy Name remains committed to its community hospital origin.

"The community approach is related to the compassionate care approach and is taken by all staff members and will continue no matter how big the hospital grows," said Kates, who added that many people have told her that they were happy to be in Holy Name.

"The really feel that compassionate, caring approach," she said. "It is my hope that all hospitals will enhance their ability to serve the community."

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