Regional Health to open new emergency department

RAPID CITY, SD — Health care in Rapid City will be getting a major upgrade in less than a week when Regional Health opens its new emergency department.

The move will more than double the size of the current ER and bring in state-of-the-art concepts and technology.

At 47,000 square feet, the ED has a new helipad on its roof, expanded ambulance bays, and many types of care spaces.

“We didn’t want to just change how we looked, we wanted to change our efficiencies.” said Jennifer Murray, director of Regional Hospital Emergency Department.

Eight trauma rooms, now spacious, accommodating 6 or more caregivers at a time.

“By the time you get that many people, all of that equipment, you need this much space to care for one patient,” continued Murray.

Of the exam rooms, 26 in total, some are standard. Other exam rooms are specifically tailored to patients needing a safe space.

Any medical supplies that could pose a risk to patients are kept behind a sliding door.

Another new concept to the emergency wing: vertical care.

“Vertical care is exactly what it sounds like,” Murray explained, “Sometimes our patients can remain vertical instead of laying down in a bed the entire time they’re in the emergency department. This gives us our most flexibility as far as capacity goes.”

The idea is to eliminate the time patients just wait in a room.

We all know that wait times in the ED can be long but Regional Health is moving to streamline the process.

Another way of doing just that is by eliminating the triage process.

“You look at what adds value for the patient and it really doesn’t add any value for them,” continued Murray, “It’s another stop in what they’re here for, they’re here to see a physician. They’re here to feel better.”

And on September 11th at 4:00 a.m., staff members and first responders will make the move to better serve the people they help.

Regional Health will be giving tours to the community this Saturday, 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. to help everyone get familiar with the new environment, as well as where to go in case of an emergency.


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