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Editorial


Front Page - Friday, April 12, 2019

Parkridge East opens ER for autism and sensory sensitivity patients




Parkridge East Hospital’s new sensory-friendly room takes inspiration from similar rooms at The Children’s Hospital at TriStar Centennial. - Photograph provided

Parkridge East Hospital has introduced a sensory-friendly emergency room to better care for patients with autism or sensory sensitivity.

“We see many children and adults who have sensory sensitivities,” says Jarrett Millsaps, chief executive officer of Parkridge East. “Our goal is to create a space that makes the ER experience less stressful for patients and their families.”

The sensory-friendly room features adaptable lights and soundproof walls and ceiling to minimize ambient ER noise. It also offers specialized toys and a visual story board to help better prepare patients for care.

As part of the program’s launch, ER physicians, nurses and support staff received special training.

To ensure the sensory-friendly room meets the needs of patients with autism or sensory sensitivity, hospital leaders partnered with experts from the Chattanooga Autism Center. Their assistance, along with the ER staff’s experience caring for patients with sensory sensitivities helped inform the design of the room.

The sensory-friendly room also takes inspiration from similar rooms at The Children’s Hospital at TriStar Centennial.

Upon arrival to the ER, families who would like to notify ER staff about a sensory disorder may complete a directive that informs providers about a patient’s specific communication abilities and stressors.

Source: Parkridge East