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St. Luke's Anderson campus expands Emergency Room

By Will Lewis, Reporter, WLewis@wfmz.com
Published On: Mar 25 2013 07:00:00 PM CDT
Updated On: Mar 27 2013 09:25:50 AM CDT

Doctors at one St. Luke's Hospital campus say they've removed the wait from the ER waiting room.

BETHLEHEM TWP., Pa. -

Doctors at one St. Luke's Hospital campus say they've removed the wait from the ER waiting room.

The Anderson campus in Bethlehem Township, Northampton County has only been open a year.

But the people in charge say they felt the need to expand and streamline services including the services offered in the ER.

The $4.5 million project expands the Emergency Services unit from 15 beds to 32 and increases the space from 7,000 square feet to 18,000.

"Our goal is to streamline the process and make it user friendly," said Mark Lohman, Patient Care Manager for St. Luke's, Anderson Campus, Emergency Department. "We don't focus on waiting rooms, we try not to focus on the triage process out front. We try to bring people directly back to a room and have what we like to refer to as a no wait waiting room.”

The project started in November and was fast tracked by the hospital due to the high demand.

“This expansion should carry us through 60,000 visits a year," added Lohman. "Currently we're on target for 33,000 visits this year.”

The 33,000 visits is three times the anticipated projection when the campus opened a year and a half ago.

More space means more specialized rooms.

"This is very much in need just from community demand," said Dr. Rebecca Pequeno, Director of Emergency Medicine at the Anderson Campus. "We've had a large volume of people.”

There is a resuscitation room, to treat everything except for major trauma.

Also, a bariatric room for patients who need more space to move around.

“We have a special behavioral health area which is a secure unit to protect patients and special need just like in psychiatric facilities,” added Lohman.

The process will also be more streamlined.

The only time patients will sit in a waiting room is if all rooms are full.

Any other time a patient will go to a room immediately so health care professionals can start treatment.

“We bring the patient right back," said Lohman. "The registration folks come to the patient, the doctors come to the patient, the triage nurse comes to the patient.”

The expansion also means adding more staff to the unit. In the last year, the emergency services unit at the Anderson campus has gone from 20 employees to 56.

The new unit will open April 1st.