The new pediatric emergency center at Royal Oak Beaumont Hospital features 16 larger, private rooms outfitted with the latest technology, as well as interactive artwork donated by the Detroit Zoo.

The new pediatric emergency center at Royal Oak Beaumont Hospital features 16 larger, private rooms outfitted with the latest technology, as well as interactive artwork donated by the Detroit Zoo.

Photo by Sarah Wojcik


Beaumont celebrates new pediatric emergency center

By: Sarah Wojcik | Royal Oak Review | Published July 16, 2018

 Local artist Julie Dawson donated watercolors of animals and other artwork to the new pediatric emergency center at Royal Oak Beaumont Hospital.

Local artist Julie Dawson donated watercolors of animals and other artwork to the new pediatric emergency center at Royal Oak Beaumont Hospital.

Photo by Sarah Wojcik

 A slushie machine inside the medicine room will help pediatric patients take their medications.

A slushie machine inside the medicine room will help pediatric patients take their medications.

Photo by Sarah Wojcik

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ROYAL OAK — On July 16, emergency center patients ages 17 and younger began receiving care at Royal Oak Beaumont’s new 9,500-square-foot pediatric emergency center.

The Level II pediatric trauma center features 16 private rooms and state-of-the-art technology, as well as calming colors, interactive animal artwork and murals, and a specialized staff.

Last summer, Beaumont opened its new emergency center, and the pediatric emergency center is part of a 125,000-square-foot, $120.8 million expansion and renovation project slated for completion in 2019. When finished, the emergency center will have 73 private rooms, 20 semi-private rooms, 10 private behavioral health rooms and 16 private pediatric rooms.

The pediatric rooms are twice the size of the rooms in the former pediatric emergency area. Most are outfitted with sliding glass doors that will provide patients and families with a quieter experience.

Three rooms are specially designed for the safety of behavioral health patients, one room is outfitted for highly contagious patients, and two rooms are classified as category I for critically ill patients.

Julie Dawson, a local artist, donated watercolors of animals and other artwork, and also painted a mural that all patients and families will see when they enter the pediatric emergency center.

The Detroit Zoo donated photos of animals who call the zoo home for each room, and every room includes fun facts about the animals.

Kelly Levasseur, division director of the pediatric emergency center, said the hospital used input from patients’ families and staff to create an environment that isn’t only comfortable, but that they also hope reduces the stress levels of parents and children.

“A lot of times with the old pediatric emergency center, it would get very loud in there,” she said, adding that all the rooms had curtains instead of doors. “So one child would cry, and then the other children would cry, and it was just not the best environment.”

Levasseur said the hospital sees approximately 23,000 to 24,000 emergency pediatric patients each year.

“Every child 17 and under who comes in the main (emergency) entrance is brought directly back here, so they’re not waiting in line behind adults waiting to get triage,” she said. “I’m excited for the feedback from the families, because I think they’ll really appreciate the environment and appreciate the interactive artwork that we have for them.”

She said construction of the new pediatric area began last August and lasted approximately 10 months.

Caroline Wall, a certified child life specialist, said during a July 12 press preview that she was excited to work in the new pediatric emergency center.

“We know that it can be a very scary environment for patients and kids who come through these doors,” Wall said. “It’s our job to reduce those fears and anxiety and just make it a more normalizing environment for them.”

She said that her work involves providing play interventions, in which she explains what they are going to see, feel and experience at the hospital.

“Also, we help provide support through procedures and provide distraction and things like that, so they have more success and are able to cope better with their experience at the hospital,” Wall said. “I just love this new space, and I like that there are private rooms for the families to have their privacy.”

Bob Ortlieb, senior media relations coordinator with Beaumont Health, said the pediatric emergency center also features a self-serve pantry with complimentary snacks and drinks for patients and families.

“We even have a slushy machine to help with kids who have a hard time taking their medicine,” he said. “We keep it in there where the medicines are to assist children.”

He said Royal Oak Beaumont is one of the top 10 emergency centers in the U.S., in terms of the volume of adult and child patients.

In 2017, the emergency center saw 130,733 patient visits, according to a hospital press release.

The emergency center renovation also includes four expansive trauma care bays, an area that offers quicker care for patients with minor injuries and illnesses, a cafe, and a cellphone charging station, according to the press release.

The center also includes MRI and CT scans, as well as portable X-rays, echocardiograms and Doppler ultrasounds to test for blood clots, according to the release.

“It’s a busy emergency center, so we want to make it more efficient and patient-friendly,” Ortlieb said.

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