Lake Charles Memorial has wrapped up Phase 2 of a four-phase project to
expand and renovate the emergency department. Phase 2 adds a new enlarged
waiting room, two triage stations, a fast-track area and more patient
beds. When all is said and done, $14.5 million will have been spent, doubling
the size of the entire department and renovating the existing space.
“Overall we are adding more beds, specialized treatment areas depending
upon the seriousness of an injury or illness, and a dedicated area for
psychiatric patient treatment,” says Dr. Jon Gray, ER Medical Director.
“There will also be a test results waiting room and a fast-track
area for patients with non-life threatening conditions. All of this is
intended to improve the flow of patients and the waiting times due to
the increase in patient volume over the past few years.”
Since 2012, the number of patients in Memorial’s ER has doubled from
treating 36,000 emergency patients a year to 63,000 in 2015. Because Memorial
is the largest, full-service health system in Southwest Louisiana with
the most specialists, it is not uncommon to have 200 patients come through
the emergency department in a day. These upgrades will help treat a growing
population by getting patients diagnosed, treated and through the care
process faster, while reducing time spent in the waiting room.
Phase 1 of the project included renovating the two trauma rooms and incorporating
a digital CT scanner inside the emergency department, allowing more convenient
and quicker access to emergency diagnostics. Phase 3 will consist of renovating
the existing waiting room area into treatment bed area and building out
a specific area for psychiatric patients. Phase 4 is the renovation of
the existing ER to match the new construction.
“Not only are we updating and expanding the physical building, but
these upgrades allow us to offer more services to a wider range of medical
needs,” Dr. Gray says. “We want to keep expanding our services
to allow patients to be treated in Lake Charles and not be forced to travel
to another city for care.”
The emergency department project is part of $166 million that Memorial
Health System has spent on construction and upgrades since 2007 to build
a better patient experience for patients.