United Regional opens new ER

WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - United Regional has opened their Bridwell Center Emergency Room.
The three phase project began three years ago.
It opened Thursday leading to a new state of the art facility.
    "We built 25,000 square feet onto the facility," Rick Carpenter, Vice President  of Facilities Management said. "And then we remodeled the existing 25,000 making a brand new 50,000 square foot center for emergency care."
In 1999 United Regional built it's emergency room to accommodate 37,000 patients a year.
With that number now at 75,000 annually, more room was needed.
Carpenter said there are more rooms and they're bigger.
    "Every room is set up exactly the same," Carpenter said. "They have the same equipment in them, the same head wall for the medical gas delivery system and the same type of monitoring equipment."
The Bridwell Center has two trauma rooms, 43 treatment rooms, eight patient evaluation rooms, six rapid treatment rooms and two consultation rooms.
All of the areas have new features.
    "We also have added thermostatic control for the heat in each room, which means that each patient can handle their own heating system," Carpenter said. "And the lighting is controllable within each room too, which were two of the satisfiers that we heard from focus groups that people were looking forward to."
Possibly the biggest change is a new indoor decontamination station.
United Regional also has an outdoor station as well, giving them more options.
Carpenter said it is something they never expect to happen, but have to be prepared for.
    "There's a high level of risk considering we have a main rail head that runs through town," Carpenter said. "And there's many times where there are chemicals being transported on those trains going through town."
If someone is sprayed with chemicals or has an industrial accident, they will get cleaned off at the decontamination station before going into the hospital so no staff or patients can be contaminated.
There is also a storage room that was built for disaster preparedness supplies.
Kim Stringfellow, Director of Emergency Services, said reaction has been positive.
    "When we opened in February, we got a tremendous amount of positive feedback," Stringfellow said. "Not only with the environment that our patients were being cared for in, but also the patient flow and the accommodations with the timeliness of their evaluations when they were coming to our facility. We are very excited about it because it compliments both the clinical atmosphere and clinical care being provided to our patients, as well as the patient experience side of things."
Rick Carpenter said it is great to have this brand new facility, but it's actually the doctors and nurses that make it all work.
Kim Stringfellow said their goal was patient delivered care when renovating and rebuilding.
She adds they invite feedback from the community and patients to make sure their desires are addressed.

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