LANCASTER — Antelope Valley Hospital has opened an Express Admission Unit, the first of several planned changes designed to improve patients’ experiences in the emergency department, officials announced.
The unit serves as an area for patients to rest comfortably while awaiting admission to the hospital. Many hospitals nationwide use this approach as a way to ease crowding and improve patient comfort.
“Sometimes a bed isn’t immediately available for a patient who needs to be admitted,” stated Betty Hull, RN, MHA, the emergency department director. “This newly opened area will offer a comfortable, restful area for patients and their families until they receive a room assignment.”
In the coming months, more actions will be taken to increase capacity within the emergency department, including:
— Increasing the number of available beds for patients who need to be monitored by medical staff, but are not being admitted.
— Designating a psychiatric evaluation area, which will provide a separate space where specially-trained caregivers can assess patients and determine the best course of treatment.
— Creating a “lounge” for patients who have been discharged from the hospital, but are waiting to be picked up. This allows beds to be made available for incoming patients.
Antelope Valley Hospital’s emergency room sees more than 130,000 patient visits each year, making it the third-busiest in California. It is also the only trauma center in a 50-mile radius and the only emergency department in the Antelope Valley approved for pediatrics, meaning specially-trained medical staff are on-site at all times to meet the unique needs of children.
[Information via news release from Antelope Valley Hospital.]