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Altoona Regional's $10 million Emergency department

Altoona Regional's $10 million Emergency department

Altoona Regional's $10 million Emergency department

Altoona Regional's $10 million Emergency department

Not just a new ER, a new era in ER care
Learn more about our Emergency Department

If you visited Altoona Regionalís old Emergency department (ED), youíll likely notice a difference if you need to visit again. Like a complete transformation!

Altoona Regional recently completed a massive 18-month ED enhancement project. The $11 million in renovations changed virtually every aspect of the department — from the lobby area, to the flow of patient traffic, to the number of beds.

The redesign makes visits more pleasant for those who need emergency care. The reception area was revamped, and changes to the departmentís design along with technology upgrades have made the whole department more efficient.

Today when patients enter the ED, theyíll see a streamlined check-in process. Patients are assessed by a medical professional at a greet desk and prioritized according to their medical need-to-be-seen.

Patients also have prompt access to triage (assessment of urgency), and are often taken directly to one of the 51 private bays, where they may be triaged in the same room that the physician will complete the examination. With bedside registration and a computerized system, patients no longer have to completely register in the lobby before seeing a physician.

Altoona Regional is streamlining every process to decrease patient delays, which in turn assists with more timely treatment.

The ED sees about 70,000 patients a year. With the March 2012 closing of the 7th Avenue Campus, it was necessary to increase capacity within the department by 13 beds.

The increase in bays and the changes in process has reduced wait times and improved the speed in which we can assess patients and give them the care they deserve.

In addition to physical changes, patients will also see a culture shift among the staff that has resulted in more efficient care in a quieter and less chaotic atmosphere.

Altoona Regionalís ED team modeled its approach after the best EDs in the country for patient satisfaction and combined their best practices with its own for an upgraded, patient-friendly system of emergency care.

The result is private and more spacious rooms where family members can visit with patients. The rooms are divided by walls to increase patient privacy.

Also, a "small ED feel" is created by dividing both the physical space and the caregivers into five teams. Each team consists of a physician, PAs, nurses, technicians and secretaries who are assigned to a select number of patients.

Patients will find this team approach to care less chaotic and confusing because they will be interacting with the same people during their course of treatment.

Whether you or someone you love suffers a broken bone or a heart attack, Altoona Regionalís ED is equipped to treat an array of illnesses and injuries. The department is staffed 24 hours a day with board-certified emergency medicine physicians and specially trained nurses.

In addition to round-the-clock clinicians, the Pastoral Care staff is available 24 hours a day to meet with family and friends and address their needs.

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