Emergency Room Remodeling Project

Urgent Care Fort Dodge

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Meeting the needs of our community.

It was the late 1970s that today's Emergency Room at Trinity Regional Medical Center was designed. If you think back 40 years and how technology has changed, you can understand our need to expand. But it's not just the use and progress of technology that is requiring more space in the treatment rooms, our Emergency Room is also serving almost double the amount of patients that they did in the 70s. At that time, the Emergency Room was built to treat about 12,000 patients annually. Today we are now serving approximately 23,000 patients a year and every year the volume continues to grow.

For almost three years, Trinity leaders have visited several new Emergency facilities to see how other frontrunners in the health care industry have developed best practices when it comes to patient flow and patient satisfaction. We have one opportunity to do this, and we want to do it right; our community deserves it.

We have asked questions. How can we make our Emergency Room more efficient? What will work best for our doctors, nurses and paramedics? What do our patients need? How can we do this in a cost effective manner? The development of the design of the new Emergency Room has been a team effort, including Emergency Room staff, community members and architects who specialize in health care environments.

Following are a few of the highlights of the new Emergency Room design.

More Patient Rooms

Currently there are only seven patient rooms, and when the Emergency Room is full there is a curtained area. The new design will have 15 patient rooms. Not only will these rooms be private, they will also be 50 percent larger.

More Privacy

We heard you on this! As patient numbers have grown so has the lack of privacy. Currently some patient areas are divided only by curtains and there is one bathroom for the entire Emergency Room. There will 15 new emergency bays - all private with solid walls and doors. Two triage rooms and two designated Isolation rooms with private bathrooms are included in the design. Additionally, there will be three other private bathrooms throughout the Emergency Room as well as a private bathroom for the triage area.

Patient Registration

The new design will bring an end to the confusion for where patients need to check in, not only emergency patients but also for patients who need to register for services such as radiology or endoscopy. When the project is completed, Outpatient Services and Urgent Care will have a completely separate entrance and registration away from the Emergency Room.

Behavioral Health

The Emergency Room is treating a rising number of patients with mental health and substance abuse diagnoses and does not have adequate space separate from other patients with other emergent and urgent conditions. Three "safe rooms" targeting behavioral health patients incorporate telehealth equipment, security cameras, and specifically designed cabinetry, furnishings, ceilings, walls and doors to keep patients safe.

Family Orientated

One of the worst nightmares a family may have to experience is when a loved one is in a serious accident. It can be a very frightening experience, and during those first critical moments, it's not a time you want to be with the general public. With this in mind, the new Emergency Room includes a family trauma waiting area with viewing, if appropriate. There will be a dedicated space for bereavement for families away from the treatment area.

Sexual Assault

A special exam room dedicated to sexual assault examinations has been incorporated into the new design. This room will also include a private bathroom and shower.


Patients come to the Emergency Room for all types of emergencies, including patients who have come in contact with a hazardous material and need medical attention. Today Trinity does not have a designated hazmat decontamination room; instead they use a portable shower with a tarp and a plastic pool for water runoff in the ambulance garage. With the remodel there will be a state-of-the-art hazmat decontamination room near the ambulance garage to protect against contamination to staff and others.