NEWPORT –– In an effort to bolster the quality and efficiency of emergency care, North Country Hospital has embarked on a six-month renovation journey targeted at expanding its Emergency Department. The initiative, which is part of a capital project, aims to alleviate the challenges faced during high-patient-volume periods by adding more patient care space to the existing layout.
The hospital has devised a plan to transform its ambulance bay into four new patient rooms that will serve the Emergency Department. A notable feature of these rooms is their ability to convert to negative pressure rooms, preventing potentially contaminated air or dangerous particles within from spreading to non-contaminated areas outside the rooms.
Amid rising patient numbers, the current situation often necessitates placing patients in the department’s hallway, particularly during high-volume times, owing to a lack of adequate facilities both within the community and across the state. The renovation will address this issue by relocating the ambulance entrance to the side of the building. This new arrangement will feature heated pavement to ensure safe and direct access into the department for direct patient care, especially during inclement weather conditions.
However, during the renovation period, some operational challenges are anticipated. Longer wait times in the Emergency Department may occur, with patients possibly being attended to based on the severity of their conditions rather than the order of arrival. The hospital also advises visitors and patients to exercise caution when navigating through the campus due to potential obstructions from construction equipment, especially on Medical Village Drive and in the parking lot adjacent to the emergency room entrance.
The hospital’s administration is optimistic that the renovation will significantly ameliorate the patient care experience, with the project expected to reach completion by April 2024. The enhanced infrastructure is seen as a crucial step toward accommodating the healthcare needs of the Newport community and beyond, ensuring that every patient receives timely and appropriate care, even in times of high demand.