Work is currently underway on a $6 million renovation project to upgrade the emergency department at Catholic Health Mercy Hospital in Rockville Centre.
The first phase of the renovations, which officially broke ground on Monday, will focus on upgrading the aesthetics and layout of the facility.
Joseph Manopella, president of the hospital, said that the emergency department receives an average of 35,000 patient visits per year, and is often the first point of entry for patients admitted to the hospital.
“It’s important for us to modernize,” Manopella said. “The emergency department hasn’t seen a functional or aesthetic renovation in over 20 years.”
Phase One of the project, which is expected to be completed by mid-2024, has four main objectives. First, it aims to alleviate overcrowding by re-configuring patient flow and implementing advanced triage systems to help manage that flow more efficiently.
The second objective is to enhance the emergency department’s functionality by modernizing medical equipment, integrating advanced technology for diagnostics and optimizing workstations for medical teams.
In order to improve efficiency, the project will also implement a new layout that will minimize delays, enhance safety and compliance protocols, and improve patient care and job satisfaction for staff.
Finally, to improve patients’ experience, the renovation project will incorporate patient-centric design principles to create a more welcoming and empathetic setting, including a revamped waiting room.
“We also felt the need to functionally change the way we flow in the emergency department,” Manopella explained. “This will provide a better flow not only for doctors, nurses and staff, but obviously for the patients and our wonderful EMS providers too.”
A new triage area will feature electronic patient check-in kiosks, upgraded floors, new lighting, a new nursing station and new furniture.
“The current aesthetic of the emergency department is a bit dated,” Dr. Robert Bramante, Mercy’s chairman of emergency medicine, said. “This will help bring it up to what you would expect to see in a more modern hospital. Based on the plans and materials, when it’s complete, it is going to be a completely different experience.”
The plans for Phase One of the renovations are broken down further into six sub-phases, each targeting a different section of the department to ensure that there is no disruption of day-to-day operations.
“Throughout these renovations, we expect no interruption in any service,” Bramante said. “As it renovates and completes each section, they will be turned back over to (the department), which will begin to use them.”
He indicated that by undertaking the renovations in sections, the department will be better able to coordinate and implement the upgrades, while still effectively providing patients with essential services.
The project will also avoid areas of the department that have been added more recently, such as the fast-track program, which is designed for patients admitted with acute injuries such as fractures.
Once the $6 million Phase One renovation project is completed next year, Mercy officials hope to begin work on Phase Two, which will expand the size of the emergency department.
Since the details of the project have not yet been approved by the state, the investment cost and the schedule of the construction were uncertain as of press time, but Manopella said he expected to have more details in the coming months.
“The project requires a lot of coordination, a lot of effort and a lot of work on behalf of our wonderful emergency department staff,” he said, “and we are extremely excited about the future outcome.”