State of emergency

25 Mar 2011

New state-of-the-art emergency department in Hollister, California

HFP Architects was retained to develop a campus-wide master plan and design the new Emergency Department for San Benito District Hospital, Hollister, California. The $12.4m project created an 18-bed unit; 15 beds were multi-purpose rooms for both urgent and non-urgent patients, and three beds were for major surgical trauma.

A central staff station was developed with control visibility over all of the entrances and the trauma spaces. A secondary staff station was created in the north hallway for staff communication. A single receptionist and triage nurse greeted each prospective patient as they walked into the ED Lobby, and the triage nurse immediately took the patient into the unit and assigned the patient a room based upon her/his analysis of the severity of the patient’s illness.

The concept was a scenario with no patient waiting and rapid through-put for quick diagnostic results, thus shortening the patient’s length of stay. Also, two isolation rooms were developed with the unit. One, off the reception/triage, allows the nurse to admit the patient to an isolation room without contaminating the interior of the Emergency Department.

The second isolation room allowed for the admission of a patient from the ambulance bay, again not penetrating the main Emergency Department area. Because the Hollister valley is a farming community, there is always the chance of pesticide contamination. HFP Architects have, therefore, doubled the use of the ambulance bay as a decontamination area, with hot and cold water hoses and a 2,500 gallon underground holding tank for contaminated water. A large indoor decontamination area adjacent to the ambulance bay is also provided.

For mass catastrophies or overbedded situations, medical gases and emergency power outlets were provided along the 10 ft-wide corridors for treatment of additional patients. There is a Helistop provided on the roof with elevator (and stairs) directly into the Emergency Department. New, high efficiency chillers, cooling towers and air handlers were built which allowed the hospital to receive significant rebates from the energy company for energy conservation. Using insulating glass block was a unique way to get light into the building and still save on energy consumption.

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