Facility will remain open throughout project
By Ed Nadolski
Editor in Chief
Aurora Memorial Hospital of Burlington has launched a $3-$4 million renovation of its emergency department in what hospital officials say is an effort to improve privacy and comfort for patients and their families.
Work on the project began last week and will be finished next summer, according to Vicki Lewis, president of the hospital.
The department will remain open throughout the renovation, she added, and will be completed in phases with the patient care areas getting first priority.
The renovation does not include an expansion, but will make better use of the existing space and change some of the traffic patterns within the department, Lewis said.
The most prominent change patients who have visited the department in the past will notice is the creation of private patient rooms. Common areas divided by curtains will be eliminated.
Lewis said plans include eight general exam rooms in addition to dedicated trauma and cardiac treatment rooms.
She said the main motivation for the change is to improve patient privacy and comfort, but noted the project has other benefits as well.
“For our caregivers, it will be a huge improvement,” Lewis said. “Each of the rooms will have natural light, which helps promote wellness.”
Once the clinical areas of the department are finished, work crews will begin renovating the reception and waiting areas.
“Our emergency department is very busy and most (of the patients) bring their families with them,” Lewis said. “We really want to create a space that’s comfortable for them.”
She said the department currently serves 15,000-16,000 patients per year who bring an average of two people with them per visit.
“That makes it a high priority for us,” Lewis said.
In addition to a new configuration, the public areas of the department will get new finishes and furnishings.
Improved lounge areas for caregivers and emergency medical service providers who frequent the department are also in the plans.
The final step in the renovation process will be a reconfiguration of the traffic flow in the parking lot that serves the department.