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Mercy upgrades emergency room

By: Staff Report
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A walk through the Cummings Emergency Pavilion at Mercy Hospital of Folsom blots out preconceived notions of a typical emergency room. The walls are painted in soothing earth tones, clad with art featuring natural scenes of the Folsom area. The Folsom community and surrounding communities donated $5 million to the completion of the Cummings Emergency Pavilion, an overwhelming gift for Mercy Hospital, said Amy Hooper, director of emergency services at Mercy Hospital of Folsom. ?We?re privileged to be able to provide this for the community,? Hooper said. Imagine lying on one of those wheeled emergency room beds, bandaged, bruised and hazily aware of what is happening, wanting nothing more than to squeeze the hand of a loved one. To reduce the amount of time spent on that bed in the lobby, you are wheeled to a private room where you are electronically registered at your bedside. Your body is digitally scanned within seconds as your family waits in a spacious, comfortable waiting room. ?Any visit to the emergency department is stressful,? Hooper said. ?We were very mindful of that in planning the new facility, and made every effort to assure that the design will allow all patients and their families to be received and cared for with dignity and respect for their time and privacy.? Since its opening on June 17, the new emergency department has been running smoothly, Hooper said. ?We?ve gone from 4,000 square feet to 25,000 square feet,? Hooper said. ?In the old department, we were basically stacked on top of each other.? The Pavilion?s semicircular design allows for many more doors and much more space. The number of emergency beds has increased from seven to 25, with more than $6.4 million in digital diagnostic imaging technology, including a new 64-slice CT scanner. Installed earlier this spring, the scanner can perform a full body scan in 20 seconds, greatly helping physicians get a precise and rapid diagnosis at a moment when each second counts. The new lobby and patient reception area will be completed in late fall. It will be as spacious and comfortable as possible for patients and family members. Additional features include an advanced digital imaging and radiography unit, two critical resuscitation rooms, two specialized treatment rooms, a high capacity decontamination room, two isolation rooms and improved ambulance access and parking. Mercy began construction on the new Cummings Emergency Department in fall 2006 and reached completion ahead of schedule. ?It?s exceeded our expectations in every way possible,? Hooper said. The $27 million remodeled emergency department is the first portion in a multiphase project that is scheduled to be completed by the end of fall.