Patients have returned to an upgraded psychiatric emergency department today at Parkland Memorial Hospital, following a month-long renovation.
The observation facility doubled in size, from 595 square feet to 1,197 square feet. As part of renovation, there was a reduction in the number of seclusion rooms. In first half of 2011, the average seclusion rate was 15.2 percent. The average for the past three months is now 0.69 percent; more than a 95 percent decrease.
Patients also have access to areas where they can enjoy quiet time away from others but are still in an open, safe environment.
“The improvements in the patient areas are significant, but it will be changes in the staff workspace and culture that will carry the day,” added Matt Roberts, president of Mental Health America of Greater Dallas, in a statement.
Safety improvements include:
• Reconfiguring the patient flow in the entire unit to streamline the intake process and provide appropriate and enhanced family access.
• Transitional counseling space provides options for the staff to conduct minor medical treatment, counsel patients in a secure and safe environment and de-escalate an event before seclusion becomes necessary.
• Doors have a 10-inch opening at floor level that allows staff to wait outside the door and ensure the patient is in a safe, yet private environment.