Driscoll Children’s Hospital unveils renovated Emergency Department

CORPUS CHRISTI – Just blocks away from the salty breezes of Corpus Christi Bay, Driscoll Children’s Hospital’s towering eight-story brick building cuts a familiar image into the Corpus Christi landscape. Now, the iconic building that serves as a beacon of hope and healing for the children of South Texas has an eye-catching addition as the blue brick elevator shaft and the colored-panel glass in the front signals a newly renovated Emergency Room.

A $14 million project renovated the 18,500 square feet of existing space for better utilization and patient flow.

“Before the renovation, our Emergency Department was built to handle an average of 15,000 patients a year. Now we’re seeing more than 35,000 patients a year, so this renovation allows us the proper space to accommodate those patients efficiently,” Driscoll Children’s Hospital’s Vice President of Operations Donna Quinn said. “We feel we now have as efficient an ED as possible when it comes to patient flow. The new renovations make things so much better for everyone – for our physicians and staff, and most importantly, for our patients.”

The expanded ER now includes:

  • Two trauma rooms
  • Twenty private exam rooms
  • Two triage areas with visibility to the waiting area
  • An expanded central nursing station
  • An expanded waiting area
  • A dedicated ER elevator
  • A new ambulance vestibule and weather protection canopy

“The fact that we have more exam rooms means we can see more patients,” Senior Director of Emergency and Intensive Services Mike Mohat said. “Another big plus is all the rooms are private rooms. It will make for a more private experience for the families, and it will be more efficient that way as well.”

The ER’s waiting area also is equipped with child-friendly features, including an interactive wall which allows children to control what is projected on the wall with the wave of a hand. There also is a bubble wall with a relaxing water display in the waiting area as well as furniture adapted for children.

When a child’s health is in crisis, South Texas families turn to Driscoll Children’s Hospital for help.

“With the renovated Emergency Department, we’re able to give families a more comfortable space,” Quinn said. “We already had the most state-of-the-art equipment for our patients, so the technology and the people are the same. Now, we have an improved way of presenting it with even more efficiency.”

The 21-month project is the ER’s most significant transformation since 1987 when Driscoll became the first hospital in South Texas to offer emergency services specifically for children.

“We’re excited to have a facility that is so dynamic,” Medical Director of Emergency Services Edgar Cortes, MD, said. “No one wants to have their child in the ER, but we feel like this is the best place you could bring your child when they need immediate care. We’re proud to be able to offer such a first-class facility for the children of South Texas and their families.”