Miguel Legoas, Augusta Chronicle
Screven County’s only hospital will soon be safer for immunocompromised and critically ill patients.
Optim Medical Center-Screven CEO Lagina Evans said Friday that their newly renovated emergency room should be open between late April and early May. Not only will it have much more space and easier access, but one of the biggest upgrades is increased negative pressure capabilities. This is an infection control measure that allows clean air flow in, but no infected air flows out, which keeps a patient better isolated.
Evans said the COVID-19 pandemic stressed the importance for these capabilities. Over the last two years, several other hospitals have converted their spaces into negative pressure rooms in order to handle the huge spikes in patient numbers.
Pairing with the ER re-opening, Optim is moving around some of the departments to increase accessibility for patients and ease foot traffic congestion.
“We’re very excited about the things we’ve been able to do so far, even in the midst of the COVID crisis,” Evans said They owe it all to their staff members and department who have done “an incredible job just maneuvering through this mine field,” he said. “But, while we’ve been doing that, they’ve also been looking to ‘How can we take care of our community better?'”
In January, Optim partnered with Augusta University Medical Center and gained a new tool: AU Telehealth, a system allowing doctors and patients to conference with health care specialists over a video call. This has decreased the number of precautionary trips to out-of-town hospitals that turn out to be unnecessary. Evans said this has been a great asset for them and they look forward to seeing how it helps both their doctors and their patients going forward.
Optim Medical Center-Screven is located at 215 Mims Road in Sylvania.
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