Monday morning Hanover County’s $10 million stand-alone emergency room opened its doors to patients with minor and major injuries, giving them one more opportunity to get the care they need.
“We saw this as an opportunity here,” said Lee Van Sise, director of the Hanover Emergency Center. “We recognized a need here for additional emergency resources and I think we’ll be able to fill a void for the community.”
The 22,000 square-foot facility, which was built in just over a year, contains 12 private patient rooms for adults and a specialized pediatrics room decorated with children in mind.
“What we have found is that a room that has a different appearance is obviously a little more calming for the patient and maybe could be used for some distraction for some of the other things that the doctors and nurses need to do,” Van Sise said. “And operationally, for us, having the appropriate supplies and equipment in that room for a child versus an adult is beneficial.”
It is the second facility of its kind in metro-Richmond from HCA Virginia and is open 24/7. The other location is in Goochland County, which Van Sise said has stayed busy since it opened roughly two years ago.
“We put our arm out that way and now we’re putting our arm out this way,” Van Sise said.
Van Sise said the location of this emergency center is on Chamberlayne Road near the Rutland neighborhood helps because of the nearby “bustling development.” He added that the surroundings and the development will more than likely increase the volume at the Hanover emergency room.
But Van Sise said that he and his staff plan to keep wait times low.
“Our goal is that there will always be immediate bedding for the patients,” he said.
This is something that HCA takes pride in and focuses on maintaining, Van Sise said. Because there are 12 rooms, Van Sise said that will allow patients to be seen quickly.
If patients do have to wait, the waiting rooms are clean and have comfortable sitting areas. Van Sise said that one thing that stands out about this center is that it will be less noisy and have a calmer atmosphere, because it’s not attached to any hospital.
In addition, physicians can give individuals more direct care and attention, Van Sise said.
After patients are seen, they are diagnosed and given medicine to return home or are sent off to a hospital. There will be an ambulance at the Emergency Center at all times specifically for transporting patients to hospitals. Van Sise said that individuals are taken to their preferred hospital or one of HCA’s facilities.
All employees are trained in both pediatric and adult emergency care.
Overall, the facility will bring roughly 45 to 50 jobs to the county. Van Sise said most of those employees have already been hired; some hail from surrounding areas and others come from Hanover.
At peak hours, there will be four nurses on staff.
At the facility’s media open house Thursday, Van Sise said he and his staff were eager to get to work and start assisting patients.
“We know things are going to pop up that will have to be fixed or things that weren’t planned for, but that’s kind of part of working in an emergency room,” Van Sise said. “You just deal with things as they pop up, then you move on and you learn from it.”