Allen Memorial Hospital opens new Pauline Barrett Pavilion
WATERLOO (KWWL) - An Eastern Iowa hospital says it's better able to meet healthcare needs now that its recent expansion is complete and the doors open.
At 8 o'clock Sunday morning, the $47 million Pauline Barrett Pavilon at Allen Hospital in Waterloo opened its doors to emergency and heart patients.
"The transition into the new area really has gone very well," said Cardiac Services Director Paula Geise.
Geise and other staff had a hand in deciding how rooms in the new Allen Heart Center and Emergency Department would look. A smart move, she says, in a place where every second counts.
"Any time the staff has anything they need right at their fingertips and has a large area to work in, they're able to do that fast."
For Dr. Kendall Kurt, this opening is the culmination of months of preparation. "We had numerous trial runs, testing out where equipment should be and testing of equipment, trying things in different spots, pretending patients were here and seeing how it worked."
The Barrett Pavilion equips Allen Hospital to better handle its 30,000 patient visits a year, which is double the number it was built for. It's also part of a plan to shift public attention to the other side of the complex.
The new emergency department and heart center were built away from Allen Hospital's main entrance along Logan Avenue. A hospital spokesman told us the intention is to make this area the new main entrance.
Director of Emergency Services Cindy Haskin says it's a night and day difference between the new and old emergency departments.
"In the previous department we had 17 beds. Now, we have 24 beds plus 8 for overflow," Haskin told us.
Each bed has its own room, offering more privacy and haskin hopes, more comfort along with it. There's also bigger lab spaces for technicians and their equipment.
"All of that improves the flow for our patients, and hopefully expedites their care through the emergency department."
Haskin says there is still some work to be done. Hospital staff will meet weekly to decide what's working, and what needs tweaking.