The crisis stabilization units is one of the newest facilities planned to be added to Palomer Health

Photo courtesy of RAD Technology Medical Systems

Mental and substance-use disorder treatment facility to use modular, prefab construction

Southern California-based Palomar Health is planning to build a crisis stabilization unit using modular building technology. The health care district is working with design-build construction company RAD Technology Medical Systems in Aventura, Fla., to create a 6,000-square-foot facility with capacity for 16 patient treatment areas, as well as patient showers, a check-in area, storage for belongings, a nurses’ station, medication storage and an outdoor lounge.

The facility will be factory-fabricated and is designed with a curved floor plan to maximize available space on the small site. Groundbreaking is scheduled for early spring and will open to patients who are dealing with mental or substance-use disorders in the summer.

“This program puts patients first,” says Sheila Brown, Palomar Health vice president of continuum care. “We go to great lengths to make sure our patients are treated by the highest-quality, behavioral health professionals, in a stress-reducing atmosphere in a timely manner.”

Self-check-in and mobile GPS app support patient independence in new hospital

St. Elizabeth's hospital is using self-check-in registration and a GPS app to help assist patients and visitors find their way around the hospital.

Photo courtesy of St. Elizabeth's Hospital

Earlier this month, HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, successfully transferred 56 patients from its former facility in Belleville, Ill., into a new replacement hospital in O'Fallon, Ill., with 144 private patient rooms. Patients moving into the new hospital or checking in for outpatient services not only were greeted with a new design, but also new technology.

For instance, the new facility features an easy check-in process in the centrally located registration area, which has its own entrance separate from the main lobby for outpatient services. Patients can choose to register via its three self-check-in kiosks or with staff who provide person-to-person registration.

The hospital also is launching a new GPS app to help patients and visitors navigate the new facility.

Alexa app directs Northwell Health patients to the best ED and urgent care options

Northwell Health is adopting Amazon’s Alexa voice-recognition service to give patients transparency into wait times at its urgent care centers and emergency departments (EDs).

The American Hospital Association's Hospitals & Health Networks magazine reports that the health system’s Alexa app is designed so that patients can ask for wait times at every Northwell ED and GoHealth Urgent Care center, as well as for the shortest wait time within a ZIP code. Alexa also provides each facility’s address.

A beta version was tested on employees and patients to identify different ways people might phrase questions. Hundreds of users have downloaded the Alexa app since it launched in October. Currently, the Alexa app has more than 1,500 utterances, and wait times are updated every 15 minutes for more than 50 facilities.