By Scott Bellile
Community members got a look at ThedaCare Medical Center-New London’s renovated emergency department during an open house held at the hospital on June 13.
ThedaCare Foundation-New London, the hospital’s philanthropic group, completed its $615,000 TogethER fundraising campaign last summer to fund the project. The emergency space reopened this spring.
“Through the years emergency needs have been growing in New London,” foundation board member Jim Williams explained to the crowd. “More than 9,000 of your friends, family and neighbors come through the ER doors each year. Our emergency department space has not been updated in nearly 20 years, and the need to meet the growing needs and demands of the community has kept growing.”
The renovation increases comfort and privacy for family and friends of patients visiting the emergency reservation and waiting room.
According to ThedaCare, the remodel includes private registration space, a larger and more comfortable waiting room, an easy-to-access restroom, a private trauma waiting space and improved safety features.
Amy Jagla, manager of patient care, said while registration staff are hearing praise from visitors, as employees they are also finding the area to be an improvement over the workspace they previously had.
“It was a bit dark. It was cramped,” Jagla said. “They love having all that open light and space. It has brought morale in that department up in that area.”
Other assets as a result of the renovation, Jagla said, include a triage room for patients and a lockable area where staff could take cover if an intruder were to enter the emergency department.
Foundation members and staff said they were wowed by the support of the community members that donated to make the project happen.
“The TogethER Campaign is not just about putting together new walls, paint, new furniture and new pictures on the wall,” foundation President Kerry Griebenow said. “This project is about our patients, and it’s about the safety, the privacy, the comfort and the care that they receive. Every piece of the project has revolved around making the emergency experience better for our patients and for their families.”
In other patient experience-related news, ThedaCare announced this week its telephone system has been upgraded at New London’s hospital and clinic. The move will reduce wait times for callers scheduling an appointment.