Community Impact Publication 2020



On track and under budget, the $15 million ED renovation project is now complete Newly renovated emergency department provides world-class service

In the spring of 2018, construction on the Great Plains Health emergency department began. Two years later, the project is complete. With $5 million raised by community members, $5 million from the hospital foundation, and $5 million from Bill Scott, a philanthropist and former patient at Great Plains Health, the newly renovated emergency department is truly state of the art.

James Smith, MD, Great Plains Health director of emergency services, said, “I have worked in Omaha and Lincoln, and I can say this is the most state-of- the-art emergency department (ED) in the state of Nebraska.” “We doubled our rooms, going from 13 to 26,” said Dr. Smith. “The data showed volume increasing over the years—we were quickly outgrowing our facility.” Misti Hutchison, Great Plains Health emergency department director, explained the different patient rooms in the ED. “We previously had two trauma rooms; now we have three, one of which is set up as a preferred area for pediatrics. Advanced equipment in all three rooms allows for ease of access and immediate lifesaving interventions. The preferred pediatric trauma room now contains a neonatal unit; this unit allows resuscitative efforts, warming and continuous monitoring to all happen simultaneously. The same equipment can be observed in our NICU upstairs,” she continued. “We also have two bariatric rooms designed for the safety of our patients and staff on the forefront; equipment allows for safe lifting and transport,

whether within the patient room or transporting to other units.”

There is a room designated for sexual assault victims. The treatment space has a private restroom, high-tech cameras and lighting specific to evidence collection. “These victims experience severe trauma,” said Hutchison. “We want to make their experience here is as comfortable as possible while offering a sense of security.” “There are two behavioral health emergency rooms secured from the rest of the department, right next to security,” said Dr. Smith. “They are completely ligature-free and ensure safety as the highest priority for our patients.” “All the glass out front is made of level seven ballistic material,” continued Dr. Smith. “We can have the entire ED secured within seconds at any time.” There is also 24- hour security and updated security monitors placed throughout. The ED also gained five fast track rooms with the expansion. “The fast track rooms were designed and intended for those patient populations who need to be seen, but generally present

“I have worked in both Omaha and Lincoln, and I can say this is the nicest emergency

department in the state of Nebraska.”

-Dr. James Smith

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