January 13, 2020
Alexandria, LA – Rapides Regional Medical Center officially opened its new $5.3 million Universal Trauma Unit Monday.
The 18-bed unit occupies the fifth floor of the main hospital tower, and its focus will be on taking care of Rapides Regional Trauma Center patients.
“This is essentially a hybrid unit at Rapides Regional,” said Trauma Surgeon Jeremy Timmer, M.D., F.A.C.S, the trauma medical director at Rapides Regional. “Each bed can be utilized as an ICU bed, a step-down bed or a regular floor bed.
“This is unique. I’ve seen a lot of trauma centers, I’ve never seen a floor quite like this in its design. I know in HCA, I believe we are the first of its kind."
The design of the floor allows for the care and treatment of trauma patients, no matter their level of acuity, all in one setting. When a patient is well enough to be moved from ICU care, they will not have to be transferred to a different floor, allowing for better continuity of care.
“This is going to give us the ability to take care of every level of trauma patients on one floor,” said Dr. Timmer. “We are going to have a dedicated group of nurses that have a special interest in trauma. They are going to be able to handle the most acute, serious traumas to some of the more minor traumas like broken bones.”
The additional 18 beds bring Rapides Regional Medical Center’s capacity to 380 beds, and provide relief to RRMC's other two ICUs—Medical and Surgical—that have seen significant growth in recent years.
“Many of our team members have worked hard on the development of this new trauma care concept,” said Rapides Regional Medical Center CEO Jason Cobb. “Our trauma team does a wonderful job in serving our community, and the new Universal Trauma Unit is another way for us to provide health care on a higher level.”
Another new feature of 5A will be its open visitation policy, even for its ICU patients.
“Families will be able to visit their loved ones no matter the time of day,” said Unit Manager Scott Brouillette, R.N. “This is a growing trend around the country and we are glad to be able to offer it on 5A.”