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Hospital undergoes major upgrade to emergency room

MORRIS — Stevens Community Medical Center will be taking on a new look over the next several months.

SCMC is about two months into a multiphase, $2 million renovation that will effectively reorganize the hospital and provide a state-of-the-art emergency room facility for patients.

The existing emergency room was built in 1977 and was considered state-of-the-art for the time. However, changes in medical practice and patients' expectations for privacy have left the emergency room dated.

“The design really does not lend itself to the way we practice medicine now,” said John Rau, president and CEO of the hospital. “If we have a multiple (victim) car accident, all of the patients are literally going to be side by side in one big area.”

The new emergency room will have four private areas – one large trauma area and three back-up exam treatment rooms – and a nursing station.

SCMC also will enclose the ambulance bay so that in the winter patients aren't exposed to the outside while they're being moved into the emergency room.

Construction began in April, and the entire project is expected to be finished by the end of this year.

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