- Double the size of the current Emergency Department
- 15 modern exam rooms plus two trauma rooms
- Private triage and patient registration areas
- Separation of critical trauma patients from those with minor ailments
- Enclosed ambulance garage separate from public walk-in entrance
Putting Patients at Ease
The patient experience, at the forefront of STEGH’s new expansion, is something Francine Melmer is all too familiar with. Having had hip surgery at the hospital herself, Francine later became a regular visitor after a trip to the emergency department with her husband Terry in September 2012. “It was wonderful that he was put in a private room. Not knowing what the situation was, it was nice that we didn’t have a room separated by curtains when you’re delivered such devasting news,” says Francine. That bad news, delivered in STEGH’s emergency department, was Terry’s diagnosis of stage four pancreatic and liver cancer. “Those are hard words to hear especially if you’re in a room full of people.”
Francine is the first to commend the staff for their efforts and how they bent over backwards to accommodate Terry. But it’s hard not to remember the challenges they faced. While the staff always did their best to get Terry, who’s immune system was compromised, in and out of the department as quickly as possible, the space posed continuous challenges.
First, there were few private rooms. When one wasn’t available the staff would use the ambulance bay to keep Terry away from other ill patients, protecting him as best as possible from exposure to other infections. This lack of privacy also meant that there was not a lot of isolation from the busy flow of incoming and outgoing patients, including both walk-in and trauma patients.
Both of these challenges have be addressed by the newly developed space. With larger, more private patient areas, natural lighting and separate entrances for walk-in and trauma patients, the new building was designed to help calm and put patients at ease, while providing exceptional care. “I am so grateful, I wouldn’t have had him treated at any other hospital,” says Francine. “When staff put their arm around you when they know you need a hug, that’s nice. You don’t get that in a big facility. They treat you like a family member and know you are just as important as the patient.”
From patient to advisor
Francine, whose husband was a big supporter and fundraiser for the hospital, now acts as a Patient Advisor on STEGH’s newly developed Patient Experience Council. “It’s important. People have to take the time to give back,” says Francine. “I just wish [Terry] was here now to see the hospital’s redevelopment. He would be so pleased.” If you want to learn more about the Patient Experience Office or Patient Experience Council visit stegh.on.ca