Community Invited to Tour Cheyenne Regional’s New Emergency Department

Cheyenne, WY—Cheyenne Regional Medical Center’s Emergency Department (ED) is hosting an open house for the community on Oct. 16, 5 to 7 p.m.

Tours will begin in the new ED lobby, located on the west side of the hospital, 214 East 23rd St. Visitors should enter from the south. Parking is available in the hospital’s south parking structure.

“At 39,000 square feet, the new emergency department is twice as big as the current ED, with more than 40 private exam and treatment rooms. It has been designed to ensure patient comfort and care and to also maximize safety and efficiency,” said Joe Evans, president of Cheyenne Regional’s Board of Trustees.

The new ED will be open for patient care on Oct. 28.

“Cheyenne Regional’s emergency department has close to 40,000 visits each year—about 110 visits a day,” Evans said. “With our ED use projected to increase by up to five percent a year, this new facility will help us meet our region’s growing demand for emergency services.”

During the planning process, Cheyenne Regional staff visited other new and high-performing emergency departments in the region to learn what they’ve done to improve outcomes, safety and the overall experience for patients and staff.

“Much of what we learned has been included in our new facility,” said Tracy Garcia, Cheyenne Regional’s clinical director of trauma and emergency services.

The new ED is divided into acute care, critical care, mental health and clinical decision unit “pods.” There is also a separate trauma area.

Each pod is self-contained, having its own private exam rooms, nurses’ station, utility rooms, secure medication rooms and restrooms for patients and staff.

“Providing areas dedicated to certain conditions has proven to be a safer and more efficient way to deliver emergency care,” Garcia said.

“Large equipment will also remain in one pod, which results in less wear and tear because the equipment is not being moved as much,” Garcia said. For instance, a stroke monitor that allows the ED to connect remotely with neurologists will stay in the critical care pod.

Another addition is a room dedicated to treating victims of sexual assault and abuse. “Patients in this situation need privacy and support,” Garcia said. “Our new ED allows us to offer both.”

The design also includes ideas from Cheyenne Regional frontline staff. “One of our nurses recommended building a documentation area for each trauma bay. This means a nurse can be recording information while the rest of the clinical team is helping the patient,” Garcia said. “It seems like a small thing, but accurate documentation is vital. And having one person doing computer entries frees up everyone else to take care of the patient.”

Another innovation is the Fast Track area, reserved for treating lower-acuity patients. “This is for someone who might have a sprain or other injury that isn’t life-threatening or high risk,” Garcia said.

Even eye injuries were considered. “Ophthalmologists helped us design the eye exam room and what equipment should be included,” Garcia said. Cheyenne Regional treats several eye injuries each month.

Patients waiting for x-ray, laboratory or other test results will be sent to the Results Pending area. “This allows us to free up treatment rooms and also ensures that patients about to be discharged have a comfortable place to wait for test results,” Garcia said.

The emergency department has been under construction for just over a year. GE Johnson Construction Company was the general contractor, and Davis Partnership Architects oversaw the design.

The open house will include tours given by ED staff and refreshments served by Cheyenne Regional volunteers.

“The open house gives us the chance to celebrate and to thank everyone involved for supporting this much-needed expansion of our emergency department,” Evans said. “It’s been years in the making, and it’s exciting to see it finally become a reality.”