St. Mary Medical Center

Emergency Department

New Emergency Department Brings a New Wave of Care

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St. Mary Medical Center brings the highest standards of emergency care to residents of Northwest Indiana with the opening of their new, $11 million Emergency Department expansion project.

From private, high-tech treatment rooms, to innovative patient-flow efficiencies, the new Emergency Department offers comfortable, first-class accommodations to patients and families from doorstep to bedside. The project nearly doubles the size of their previous space, and features the latest technologies including on-site digital x-ray, fully-equipped trauma rooms, and wireless technology.

"Patients always come first, and that is clear in the way this new space has been designed and equipped," says Janice Ryba, CEO of St. Mary Medical Center. "Every consideration was given to creating a calming soothing environment for patients and families, as well as providing the technology and space our emergency team needs to work efficiently and effectively."

Key features of the new Emergency Department are immediately evident from the moment visitors enter the parking lot. A wide, brightly lit, easily identifiable canopy offers a clearly defined point of entry that is also heated and features a skylight. Upon entering, visitors are greeted with an interior design inspired by the dunes, with curves, textures and colors reminiscent of the beach. A soothing water wall and a cozy fireplace all engage the senses, creating a tranquil, relaxing space.

Behind the dunes' inspired finishes is advanced technology to help deliver faster results and the highest level of care. Each treatment room has solid walls and glass doors and curtains for privacy and is equipped with critical care monitoring. The medical team can perform an EKG in every room, providing a quicker assessment of a patient's condition, especially those experiencing a stroke or heart attack. Wireless technology also enables staff to monitor a patient's condition as they may be moved throughout the department and, with a press of a button, results can be sent instantly to cardiologists or neurologists.

In an emergency, every second counts so the new Emergency Department is designed to take as much time out of the process as possible. A built-in tube system enables staff to send tissue and blood samples to the laboratory for analysis, rather than having to transport them, thus getting results minutes sooner. Major diagnostic tests used to assess a patient's condition - x-ray, MRI and CT scanner are located right in or immediately adjacent to the Emergency Department, eliminating the need and the time to transport patients to another department.

Specialized trauma rooms, a maternity room with private bathroom, and isolation rooms for infectious conditions, all support the delivery of better care.

From the healthcare teams' desk area with multiple stations for computerized charting, to the tube delivery system and on-site laboratory and imaging diagnostics, the new Emergency Department brings new efficiencies for the medical team, saving steps and valuable time that can be spent with patients and their families.

The Emergency Department expansion is just one of the significant investments made in the past year and a half at St. Mary Medical Center. In January of 2009, the hospital completed a $3.5 million renovation of its cardiac catheterization laboratory, and in March 2009, the hospital opened a $6 million Advanced Imaging Center featuring the latest MRI, CT and ultrasound technology.