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Madigan ER set to begin new phase

Photo by Tawny M. Dotson The new layout of renovated patient rooms in the Emergency Department at Madigan Army Medical Center allows easier access and updated equipment. In addition, the number of beds in the ED will increase from 11 to 27 in order to

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Beginning Wednesday, the main entrance to the emergency room at Madigan Army Medical Center was closed as the renovations of the Emergency Department enter the next phase. Patients are now being directed to an alternative entrance to the building by large signage.

Parking for the entrance remains the same, however patients will now enter through what was the Air Evacuation Door to the building, which is located next to the ER entrance and ambulance entrance. The ER entrance, waiting areas and triage rooms will all be under renovation for approximately four months according to Dr. Diane Devita, assistant chief for administration and operations for the ED.

"It's important that patients bring as little as possible when they come to the ER," Devita said. "Think about it before you come."

The temporary waiting area for the ER will provide only half as many spaces for patient waiting and the staff at Madigan appreciates the patience of individuals who will have to wait in the smaller area while renovations are completed.

"The benefit in the end will be more beds, more modern waiting space," Devita said. "This is the reality of having to modernize a space while still operating within it."

The major construction renovation project of the Emergency Department at Madigan began last spring and will cost more than $2 million to complete. The project will however increase the ED's rooms from 22 to 24, increase the beds available from 11 to 27 and increase space utilization, improve access to care and provide a better working environment for staff, Devita said.

The seven-phase project is now in Phase 4 and 5. While patient care will continue, patient waiting times may increase, but the result will provide better throughput.

"For now it gives us a nicer place to care for patients and we are hoping it will improve throughput," Devita said.

The final phases of the construction project (6 and 7) will take place later this spring and include completing the ambulance bay renovation, final flooring installation and restoring a long corridor separating offices from patient rooms and operating areas.

"As Madigan continues to grow its patient population size, we need a more accommodating Emergency Department and this renovation will allow for that," Devita said. "We ask for patience, flexibility and cooperation from all of our patients as we work through this process."





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