Western Galilee Hospital-Nahariya serves as the main hospital for the people of northwest Israel. However, in addition to its daily order of business, the facility with a location just six miles from the Lebanon border also has been established as the primary treatment center for casualties resulting from volatility between the two nations.
In 2003, decades of lobbying for a safe location where hundreds of patients could be treated at any given time were answered with the completion of underground hospital facilities, says Masad Barhoum, MD, CEO of Western Galilee Hospital-Nahariya.
Individuals who read this article and complete the series of questions may be eligible to receive continuing education credit (CEU) as approved by IDCEC.
To take the corresponding quiz for CEUs, please visit : http://www.iida.org/content.cfm/healthcaredesign
If you have any questions, you may contact the IIDA Education Department at 312-467-1950 or toll-free at 888-799-IIDA.
In fact, during the 2006 Lebanon War (also known as the Second Lebanon War), Western Galilee was able to operate from this protected site despite being under direct fire from Hezbollah forces. However, there was one area of the hospital that remained vulnerable to the battle outside.
“Although physicians, nurses, and ancillary staff were fully protected in the underground facility, the entrance to the emergency department was totally exposed. During the Second Lebanon War, medical personnel who ventured outside the fortified shelter to receive patients in the ER were fully exposed to incoming rockets, over 800 of which landed in direct proximity to the hospital and the city of Nahariya,” Barhoum says.
In addition to the dangerous environment, Barhoum says the emergency department (ED) itself had long faced inadequacies.
“The ability to effectively treat patients had been overtaken by space restrictions and the limitations of outdated facilities. In preparation for the building of an entirely new emergency department, many design elements were evaluated,” Barhoum says. “Additional space and efficiency of patient care were top considerations.”
Functional changes in the new ED included: