Hammond-Henry Hospital official are planning a $1.3 million emergency room renovation project.

Hammond-Henry Hospital official are planning a $1.3 million emergency room renovation project.

“The space was designed and built 25 years ago. It is in need of modernization and renovation,” said Hammond-Henry chief executive officer Mark Kuhn.

The emergency room is located in the northeast corner of the hospital. When it was constructed, the existing emergency department was designed for fewer patients, said Kuhn.

“The original design was four rooms. Adjacent space was used as back up to the four rooms. Those adjacent rooms were never designed as emergency rooms,” he explained.

Kuhn said the current department “lacks the market appeal that is associated with a modern emergency department.”

There is no separation of ambulance and walk-in traffic. “Everybody comes in the same way and goes out the same way. It’s not ideal,” he said.

The new design will feature both an entrance for walk-in emergency patients and an ambulance entrance.

“There will be an improved reception area, a triage room and there will be an improved nurses’ station with line-of-sight visibility to all of the exam rooms,” said Kuhn.

“Each of the exam rooms will be enlarged and modernized with glass and aluminum sliding doors as opposed to the older curtain concept. Privacy will be enhanced significantly with the new rooms,” he said.

The remodeled space will have a multi-use safe room.

“We’re seeing more and more behavioral health issues and potentially suicidal patients. We need a safe room to manage them, and the new layout will include a safe-room concept.”

The existing emergency department is 3,900 square feet, and much of the new design will take place in the existing department area.

A proposed addition will be used for an enlarged reception and waiting room, said Kuhn.

Hospital officials worked with emergency room physicians and staff as well as an architect to create the redesign plan.

“We wanted to make sure the outcome was functional, affordable and met our long-term needs,” said Kuhn.

In order to continue operating the emergency department during construction, a multi-phase approach will be used, with the first phase starting in January and the second phase following in May.

“We hope to occupy the entire space as early as August 2019,” said Kuhn.

The remodeled space “will be modernized and have a better feel and look.”

“We’re building not only for now, but for the future,” said Kuhn.