Second phase of emergency department now complete

March 25, 2015

Upgrades include more treatment spaces and more privacy for patients

LETHBRIDGE — Patients will enjoy additional private treatment areas with the completion of the second phase of renovations to the emergency department at Chinook Regional Hospital.

The $9-million renovation project began more than one year ago.

The entire project will be completed in 2017.

Phase 2 includes six new individual treatment rooms and a large workstation for staff and physicians.

“Improving access to health care is a priority for the Alberta government, and these renovations are part of meeting that promise for patients and families in Lethbridge and surrounding communities,” said Stephen Mandel, Minister of Alberta Health. “As this project moves forward, we look forward to even more services becoming available to people in the community.”

“Renovating the emergency department at Chinook Regional Hospital is one way Alberta Health Services is addressing local health care issues,” says Vickie Kaminski, President and CEO of Alberta Health Services (AHS). “In the end, we will have a larger, more modern space to ensure safe, high-quality care.”

The first phase of the project was completed last October. It included a larger treatment room for trauma patients, four smaller acute treatment rooms, two secure psychiatry treatment rooms, additional workspaces for physicians and staff, and equipment storage.

“Renovating an active emergency department is no easy task,” says Dr. Jack Regehr, Chief of Emergency at Chinook Regional Hospital. “There will be some disruptions to treatment space, wayfinding and noise, but our physicians, staff and volunteers are working tirelessly to provide high-quality care while keeping those disruptions to a minimum.”

Overall, the five-phase project will increase the current emergency department floor space by about 30 per cent. This includes additional patient and waiting room spaces; dedicated private rooms for gynecology treatment, trauma and psychiatry services; and improved infection prevention and control. Patient privacy will be significantly improved.

The emergency department renovation is part of the $135-million Chinook Regional Hospital redevelopment project funded by the Government of Alberta. The overall project includes construction of a new five-storey wing that will expand acute and ambulatory care, outpatient clinics, respiratory therapy, pre-operative assessment, and labour and delivery.

The third phase of the emergency department renovation will start in April and take about six months to complete.

AHS encourages Albertans to consider other options, such as physician clinics, pharmacies, and Health Link Alberta, before visiting an emergency department. For more information on health care options go to:

Individuals can call Health Link Alberta at 1-866-408-5465 to determine if the emergency department is the best place to seek care for their health concerns. Recent statistics show about one in four people in Alberta’s emergency departments could have their health concerns managed in a more appropriate setting, such as a family doctor’s office or walk-in clinic.

Alberta Health Services is the provincial health authority responsible for planning and delivering health supports and services for more than four million adults and children living in Alberta. Its mission is to provide a patient-focused, quality health system that is accessible and sustainable for all Albertans.

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