St. Luke’s Allentown Campus has opened nine, new private patient bays and five “results waiting” lounge chairs in the hospital’s emergency department, completing a 20,000 square-foot, $6.3 million project.
The facility had become too small to handle frequent surges of emergency patients who depend on the hospital for their healthcare needs, said Christopher Stromski, MD, chief of the emergency room. “Sometimes during busy hours or days, patients unfortunately had to wait for treatment or an inpatient bed in alternative treatment spaces. This expansion resolves this challenge.”
Last August, the hospital held a ribbon-cutting ceremony, completing phase one of this renovated facility, which included relocation of the ER’s patient entrance and expanding waiting areas, including adding a special, child-friendly waiting space.
Adding the nine patient bays increases the total treatment areas to 41, which enhances community access to this vital service, especially for people who come to the hospital from downtown Allentown.
"By expanding patient treatment space, we are improving the emergency care experience for our patients who come here during some of the worst days of their lives,” says Ryan Kloss, RN, the department’s patient care manager.
Advanced LifeAire technology now purifies the air and creates negative air flow, yet another safety measure to protect patients, visitors and caregivers from COVID and other air-borne infections, a first in any hospital ER in Pennsylvania.
The hospital’s fifth floor was the first patient care unit in the country outfitted with these Allentown-designed and manufactured purifiers.
The ER patient entrance was relocated from the north side of the hospital to the southeast corner, on Maple Street and adjacent to the hospital’s main entrance for patient convenience. The ambulance entrance remains on the hospital’s north side.
“This relocation makes access easier for persons coming from the parking deck to find either the ER or main hospital entrance,” says Bill Moyer, president of St. Luke’s Allentown Campus.
Moyer says the enlarged ER will be able to handle many as 70,000 patients per year, expected to become the norm there in the near future.
“The residents of Allentown put their trust in us to provide them with the best and safest care possible,” Moyer adds. “With these improvements, plus the recently-begun construction of a new five-story Women & Babies Pavilion, we, as the City’s premier health system, are responding to our community’s growing medical needs.”