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Schuylkill Health Renovations to ER Geared Toward Care of Elderly

Last week, Schuylkill Health gave the elderly of Schuylkill County an early Christmas present with renovations to the waiting area and check-in and triage area of the emergency wing that are aimed at better serving elderly patients.

According to an article on the RepublicanHerald.com, hospital spokesman M. Michale Peckman is quoted as saying, “We’ve changed it into an elder-focused emergency department.”

The renovations that were just completed at East Norwegian Street are phase I of the project and totalled $1.2 million. Phase II involves developing a new system by which each elderly patient is evaluated.

The facility has been recognized for its efforts in treating the elderly, which is one of the reasons behind the renovations. Schuylkill Health is one of only 13 hospitals in the state that is a Medicare-dependent hospital, which means it’s a rural hospital where 60 percent of its discharges are Medicare patients. Because the facility is non-profit, they don’t have commercial business to off-set costs, making the designation even more important.

According to the article, some of the changes include:
A new hallwya leading from the elevator to the information booth and check-in area
Three restrooms (one for men, one for women, and one for families) that replaces the previous unisex restroom
New offices for patient registration
New flooring, lights, hand-rails, and wall coverings to create a more warm atmosphere
New chairs for the waiting room area and new flat-screen televisions

An Elder Care Committee is in place to improve the way each elderly person visiting the emergency room is evaluated. Once completed, it will make the facililty one of the only hospitals in the state that has an emergency room geared toward the elderly