BRISTOL – Bristol Hospital’s 100 year anniversary is about to be commemorated with a brand new Emergency Center.
Contractor crews over the next week or so will be putting the finishing touches on the 12,500-square-foot addition that sits beside the hospital’s current EC. A ribbon cutting for the new space will be celebrated next week, and clinical staff will begin their move into the area on Dec. 20 to make way for renovations to the existing Emergency Room. When it’s all said and done, both areas will fit seamlessly together.
Beginning Dec. 20, patients visiting the ER should use the glass doors to the new area, which sits only a few short steps from the old entrance. Hospital officials say there will be plenty of signage to notify patients of the changes. No service lines are expected to be interrupted during the move, added Dr. Andrew Lim, medical director of emergency medicine at Bristol Health.
“The fact that we’ve finished on time, given all that covid has caused and with the supply chain issues — it’s amazing,” Lim said.
“It’s an Emergency Room that’s better than any in the state,” said Thomas Roche, director of facilities and construction at Bristol Health.
Roche said the quality of the EC facility will finally live up to the excellent care Lim and his team deliver.
Roche also added that, from the time this project was announced, he has been impressed with the Bristol Health administration’s willingness to put $17 million into an endeavor that will not generate any extra revenue for the hospital.
“It’s what’s right for the community,” Roche said.
The new space makes it much easier for hospital staff to monitor patients, as it has a rounded design that resembles an infinity symbol. Lim said this will help doctors, nurses and other clinical staff watch for patients who may experience allergic reactions, suffer from sudden respiratory distress or have a seizure or another type of emergency. The all-glass doors make for an open view of patients, with curtains as an option when privacy is needed.
From the standpoint of still being in the midst of a pandemic, Lim said the current ER space does not have any airborne isolation rooms.
“We will have two in the new ER,” Lim said, adding that multiple rooms can be turned into negative pressure rooms.
The new space will also have five pediatric rooms that visually should make it more comfortable for children, as the walls have been decorated with things like the solar system, an aquatic setting and other artwork. The old ER did not have any pediatric rooms.
From the moment a patient enters the check-in area, the design is much more welcoming and inviting than the old space.
“It changes the comfort level for the patients,” Lim said.
Additionally, each room was designed with uniformity that will allow clinical staff to perform certain duties like second-nature.
“We repeated everything,” Roche said. “They’re all the same. There was a lot of thought that went behind it as we built it.”
Demolition on the old EC space is expected to begin in January. Those renovations should be complete by September.
Roche said he’s not at all worried about how the Emergency Center staff will handle the construction going on next door, as they were extremely cooperative and professional as the addition was built.
“They’re just used to chaos,” Roche said of the nature of working in an ER. “They’ve been unbelievably welcoming to the project.”
“We realize what the end result is going to be,” Lim said, adding that he couldn’t be prouder of Bristol Health’s willingness to go forward with this undertaking and put its best foot forward.
Justin Muszynski can be reached at 860-973-1809 or [email protected]
Phone number: 860-584-0501
E-mail: [email protected]
Address: 188 Main St.
Bristol, CT 06010