Back to home

First patient impressed with new Penticton emergency department

First patient impressed with new Penticton emergency department
Lars was the first patient treated in new care areas at the Penticton Regional Hospital emergency department.

It still had that “new car” smell.

That was one of the first impressions Oliver resident Lars (last name withheld by request) had when he arrived at Penticton Regional Hospital’s new emergency department (ED) after an unfortunate early morning car accident on Feb. 2.

As a precaution, Lars was taken to PRH to be checked out and, as luck would have it, ended up being the first patient in a new section of the PRH ED, which had opened the same day.

The new care space is one of several phases of the emergency department renovation that will open this year. Already open is a new patient registration area, exam room and waiting area, but this marked the first major patient care area to open, with new exam bays and trauma rooms.

“They were all separate rooms; they were not just curtained off,” said Lars, 64, referencing the new exam bays – all private, single-patient rooms with sliding doors, enhancing patient privacy and improving infection prevention and control measures.

To have a private room in a place where there is so much activity, sometimes of a sensitive nature, is very important, added Lars.

“From a patient perspective, many times in the curtained rooms you can hear what is happening next door and it can be unnerving for the other patients and there is information being exchanged that other people shouldn’t be privy to,” he said.

The enhancements to the PRH ED are part of Phase 2 of the David E. Kampe Tower Project, a major renovation to the emergency department as well as the PRH pharmacy and material stores. The complex project is taking place in phases to keep the ED open to patients during construction. Now that this new care space has opened, work has moved into another area of the old department, with more care spaces set to open later this year.

“I was quite impressed,” said Lars, who was treated and released and was back at work the next day. “It was very high tech with new equipment and the care was excellent.”

The Phase 2 project will complete in early 2022.

“We’re very excited to have these new care spaces open in our emergency department,” said Sara Evans, Director of Clinical Operations at PRH. “The rooms are more private for patients, and they’re going to benefit from the new equipment and technology. I know our team provides such great care already – it’s going to be even better now, in this beautiful new space.”

What’s new in the PRH ED:

• 10 new patient spaces: two trauma bays, two isolation rooms, six standard exam bays
• Medication room
• Staff lounge
• Clean supply room
• Equipment supply room
• Patient Care Coordinator office and teaching space
• On-call physician space
• Family waiting room
• Patient registration and exam bay
• Waiting room