Finding comfort in an emergency situation


The Emergency Departments of Bluewater Health are among the busiest community emergency departments in Ontario. Last year, we helped more than 84,000 patients—65,300 at the Mitton Street site alone. Even with that type of pressure, in March 2009 Bluewater Health ranked number one in Ontario for patient satisfaction.

“Our patient satisfaction scores are consistently very high,” says Dr. Renato Pasqualucci, Interim Medical Director. “It is the nurses and doctors as people who provide that experience.”

Being staffed with teams of emergency physicians and highly skilled nurses is one thing, but having the facilities to ensure these specialists can do their jobs properly is another.

The new Sarnia hospital opened this year at the end of July at the corner of London Road and Norman Street. Residents have access to an Emergency Department that is three times the size of the previous site, with floor plans and technologies that are already the envy of health centres throughout Southwestern Ontario.

“In every room, patients will experience incredible improvements,” says Bob DeRaad, Manager, Emergency, Sexual/Domestic Assault. DeRaad and the staff of the Emergency Department are eager for the big move. “The doctors here are like kids in a candy store. From technologies to the layout, the new ‘Emerg’ will be top of the line.”

Highlights of the Emergency Department will include a larger Critical Decision Unit for short-stay patients, with improved privacy and technologies; five trauma rooms instead of the current three, which can be linked to lessen the number of personnel in each room; a decontamination room; and Ear, Nose and Throat rooms.

Visitors and patients will also appreciate the spacious waiting area, which is three times as big as the one at the Mitton Street site, and a range of food services a short walk away. As for friends and relatives of those who are undergoing surgery, there will be two private family rooms, with comfortable seating and amenities. Parking will be available near the entrance, alongside the new hospital wing on Norman Street, and off Maria Street, near the hospital’s new main entrance.

The latest and greatest new technologies will be incorporated in the Emergency Department.

Pasqualucci explains that, “the upgrades in equipment are all designed to give us answers more quickly, more efficiently, with more resolution electronically and at the bedside—allowing us to make decisions faster and tailored to the individual.

“We are excited about the new IntelliVue MP5 Patient Monitoring System for the Emergency Department in the new building,” adds DeRaad, pointing out one of the new technological highlights. “The IntelliVue networked Patient Monitoring System gives the Emergency teams more information to assess patients and make confident decisions. The system will monitor, collect, combine, and cross reference physiologic data to provide a coherent picture of our patients’ medical status.”

MP5s are the ‘gold standard’ according to DeRaad and his team. But this technology comes with a hefty price tag: each IntelliVue MP5 (A) unit costs $19,687 and 12 were needed prior to the hospital’s opening in July. The Gordon Foundation has generously directed funds toward the purchase of one MP5, but financial support is still needed to purchase the others.

Since many visitors’ first impression of the new hospital will be through the Emergency Department under extremely stressful and trying conditions, we’re hoping that they will find comfort in knowing that the highly skilled personnel at Bluewater Health will have the very best space and equipment to do their jobs properly.

Contact Maria Muscedere, Bluewater Health Foundation Development Coordinator, at 519-346-4706 to donate today and give our Emergency Room personnel the technological tools they need to perform their jobs to the best of their ability.