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Naval Medical Center San Diego Revamps ER

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Aired 1/4/12

Renovations in the emergency department at Naval Medical Center San Diego will double its size and create a high-tech waiting room.

— A rebuilt emergency department at Naval Medical Center San Diego will treat military families and civilians.

Medical staff at Naval Medical Center San Diego treat a hand injury in the emergency department.
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Above: Medical staff at Naval Medical Center San Diego treat a hand injury in the emergency department.

Anyone in San Diego County with an urgent heart problem is sent to the nearest hospital, even if it’s the military’s Naval Medical Center San Diego (NMCSD) in Balboa Park.

There, doctors in the emergency department see nearly 70,000 patients a year—double the number the department was designed for.

Renovations at NMCSD will increase their ER beds from 24 to 41.

Naval commander and chairman of the center’s ER department Dr. John Love said the changes will decrease wait times, streamline services and improve the patient experience with free Wi-Fi and restaurant styled pagers.

“Patients who meet certain criteria they can be handed a restaurant pager and then we can actually call them when it’s time for them to be seen so they don’t have sit in the waiting room the entire time," said Love.

Five temporary trailers near the old emergency department are functioning as the urgent care and triage center while the renovations are taking place.

The project is scheduled to be completed by June.

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