Langley Memorial Hospital’s founding back in 1948 was possible because of its community. That remains true to this day – evident in the overwhelming support for its newly opened Martini Family Emergency Centre.
“Our donor support made it possible to leverage the funds to create a new multi-zone department that goes above and beyond for patient care,” says Heather Scott, executive director of Langley Memorial Hospital Foundation.
Built in the early 1980s, Langley Memorial’s old ER was designed to care for up to 68 patients a day. By the time it closed on May 4, it was supporting up to 160 patient visits a day. With that in mind, the new ER is built with growth in mind – growth of population, as well as how technological advances will change the model of care.
“Langley Memorial was created by the local community so there’s a real sense of ownership among patients and staff. We share a tremendous sense of pride in the new emergency centre,” Scott says, recalling the impact of seeing staff brought to tears when seeing the new ER for the first time. “The sense of community and sense of ownership people have for their community hospital is unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. Families have lived here for generations; their children and grandchildren were born here.”
Patient experience remains at the heart of the new ER’s innovations.
Single-patient care space provides privacy, for example, but is also large enough to allow loved ones to stay by the bedside without impeding staff. Screens and privacy glass – which fogs at a push of a button – helps reduce stress levels and supports patient confidentiality.
Innovation is also cementing Langley Memorial as a leader among local hospitals.
In addition to two trauma bays that can expand to accommodate more patients in a critical disaster, it’s the first Fraser Valley hospital to fully roll out side-by-side triage, a state-of-the-art model of care that allows for registration staff and a triage nurse to work simultaneously to ensure an incoming patient only has to tell their story once.
Improved infection control and safety features include additional more isolation suites and a specialized decontamination suite that can open to the outdoors.
This suite is a vital feature in this community, where patients can be exposed to farm chemicals, for example, an exposure risk they can bring with them to the ER. This new suite improves safety for staff and treatment for patients, and today, other BC hospital teams are coming to see Langley’s design and learn from it.
Additional patient care supports come from a mental health and substance use support zone, providing social workers and psychiatrists appropriate spaces to consult with patients.
The new ER also provides a first-ever space for Langley’s hospital dedicated to pediatric patients, caring for children away from more acute adult care to improve their patient experience.
Staff supports also vital
The experience of medical teams as also at the heart of Langley’s new ER. Every zone has proper access to lifts to improve patient safety and protect staff from injury when caring for and moving patients.
A physician space and larger, open work area for support teams improves inter-team communication and patient care, while improved access to lab and medical imaging allows quicker testing and results, improving diagnosis and treatment.