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Samaritan Medical Center Emergency Department Undergoes Improvements

Published on: January 27, 2020

Watertown, NY — Renovations to Samaritan Medical Center’s Emergency Department (ED) will begin on Jan. 29, 2020. The upgrades to the ED’s waiting room intake and triage check-in areas will improve patient privacy and enhance the waiting space for the more than 48,000 patients seeking treatment at the ED each year.

The new, renovated space will include private intake areas complete with a door for patient privacy, updated fixtures, a new security station, and improved waiting area space for patients and their families. In addition, we are upgrading the heating and cooling system in this space while adding negative pressure in the area to help with infection prevention.

Throughout the anticipated four-month construction period, we will continue to provide care 24/7 for all emergency conditions. Beginning Jan. 29, all ED walk-in patients and families should enter through the main entrance of the hospital. Initial intake and triage will be performed in a new, temporary space in our main lobby. Following check-in, patients will be escorted to the ED for treatment. This re-routing of patient traffic will enable us to complete the renovations efficiently and better serve our patients as they enter the department to receive care.

“Samaritan is dedicated to providing quality care while being mindful of a patient’s privacy and comfort,” states Kim Thibert, Vice President for Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer at Samaritan. “This renovation stems from patient feedback and has been designed with the patient in mind. It will enable our staff to check patients in quickly and privately in an updated space, giving patients and family members peace of mind in an emergency situation.”

Construction will not impact emergency responders or ambulances. The needle or sharps repository for community use will also be moved to the main lobby location during the construction. For all maternity-related needs, we ask patients to please remember to use the dedicated Car-Freshner Center for Women and Children at Samaritan entrance, located off of Sherman Street.

Samaritan Medical Center Emergency Department Undergoes Improvements
Samaritan Medical Center Emergency Department Undergoes Improvements
Above: Renderings of the new Emergency Department waiting area intake and triage check-in space.

Additional information for patients:

Emergency Departments are best for emergency situations. If you have a life-threatening condition, go straight to your nearest ED. Such conditions include:

  • Chest pain
  • Difficulty breathing or extreme chest pain
  • Stroke
  • Head injuries
  • Severe bleeding
  • Loss of vision
  • Drug overdose
  • Seizures
  • Severe cuts or burns
  • Sudden dizziness or numbness
  • Severe allergic reactions

Deciding between urgent care or the ED depends on the severity of the health problem. If the condition is life-threatening, go to an ED by calling 911 or be brought in to be seen.

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