Bridgton Hospital to expand Emergency Department waiting room

With the help of a significant donation by a Lake Region resident, Bridgton Hospital will begin expanding its Emergency Department waiting room beginning this month.

“Thanks to a very generous donation from a close friend and community member, the hospital is moving forward with renovations starting February 22. The donation will have a significant impact for us and we are very humbled by the generosity,” said Bridgton Hospital President David Frum.

After hearing from some patients with concerns that the waiting area was too small to accommodate patients and visitors in wheelchairs, the hospital decided to expand and renovate the waiting room area. Since first moving into the building when it was newly-opened in 2002, the Emergency Department waiting room has “always been a pressure point for the organization,” Frum explained.

The waiting room area, which currently accommodates just 16 plastic chairs, will be expanded by 473 square feet, creating a more accessible and conducive environment for handicap patients. The chairs will be replaced with more comfortable, aesthetically appealing chairs. The new area will also feature more natural lighting, as well as a play area for children.

“The ED waiting room was undersized when we moved in here, especially during the summer months when our patient population increases and our volumes nearly double on a daily basis. The waiting area seems even smaller then and we end up with patients waiting outside,” said Bridgton Hospital Director of Nursing Jill Rollins. “Currently, it is not a comfortable, warm or overly-friendly environment.”

With the recent donation of $300,000, as well as funds raised through the hospital’s annual golf tournament, the hospital will create a much more accessible and patient-friendly waiting room while also significantly improving the aesthetics of the room. The project will more than double the number of seats that can be accommodated in the waiting room. In addition, alcoves will be built for those in wheelchairs, and will include charging stations for electric wheelchairs. A play space for children will include toys, puzzles, coloring books, and other “child-friendly” features.

Throughout the construction period, exterior signage will be placed to direct traffic in and around the emergency department areas closed for renovation work. Patients will be able to use the current waiting room area until the last three weeks of the project, which is expected to wrap up in mid-May.

“We will have interior signage displayed throughout the department to help direct all foot traffic, as well,” Frum assured. “We’d like to thank our community in advance for being so understanding while we improve our emergency room waiting area.”

 

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