GREAT FALLS – Benefis Health System plans to open the new section of the emergency department, the Critical Care Pod, on Wednesday. This Critical Care Pod is the second of three phases in the emergency department construction process.
This section will be mainly focused on the critical patients that need a higher level of care. It has three trauma bays, behavioral health room, and other critical care bays.
The design for the new section of the emergency department is very unique. Before building, they sat down with staff and providers asking what they wanted and first built rooms out of Styrofoam, which then interpreted into the drawings. Then, construction crews went into the mock rooms to make sure everything was in the right place before building.
The new behavioral health rooms are low stimulation, made for patients to remain calm and have an environment that is more soothing and relaxing.
For the critical care pods, not only can nurses monitor the patients in the room, they can also see all the rooms from the nurse’s station.
There is a dispatch room for Mercy Flight, which transfers all the calls that come from the region, where they believe a helicopter must be used are sent to this room. Mercy Flight can be launched within a few minutes.
Kevin Langkiet, who is the Emergency and Critical Care Services Director, said an important part of this new addition is, “That we give the best care that we can actually give in the state on Montana here at Great Falls Benefis.”
Phase 3 will be a clinical decision unit, which will be for patients that need to be admitted or consulted. It moves the patients out of the way of the hustle and bustle of the emergency department and keeps the family intact. It could also be used for where patients are discharged and puts them closer to the parking lot.
The construction for all three phases will be complete in late December. January 1st is when Benefis will go live with the complete emergency department. There will be 33 beds once construction is all done, making it the largest emergency department in the state.
He added, “Yes, we have spent a lot of money, but we’ve had a lot of donors, our community has been fantastic in making sure that we have the best technology, the best equipment, the best structure.”
Reporting by Kasey Herman for MTN News