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Sentara adds trauma rooms, weapons detection system to Emergency Room in Woodbridge

New security equipment, an on-staff security officer and two dedicated trauma rooms are among recent major additions in a $1 million upgrade to the Emergency Department at Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center (SNVMC) in Woodbridge. The Emergency Department was previously upgraded in 2016-17, according to Jon Radulovic, public information officer.

A state-of-the-art XtractOne weapons detection system is now operational at the Woodbridge facility, following a successful pilot in Hampton Roads, a Sentara news release said.

The XtractOne sensors detect shapes of guns, knives, and other weapons – and alert security personnel on site, who will then use a wand to determine if there is a weapon and ask the visitor to remove it from the building and return unarmed. The walk-through scanners are similar to those in use at sports stadiums and are designed to minimize disruption to patients, staff, and visitors, the news release said.

SNVMC reported that it invested $1 million in this and other Emergency Department upgrades to increase functionality, enhance the patient experience, and strengthen security measures for visitors and staff. The upgrade was completed in June. The emergency department had 50,000+ patient encounters in 2023 and is rated as a Level III trauma center.

The two dedicated trauma rooms are designed to give the trauma team immediate access to specialized equipment and supplies to treat traumatic injuries quickly.

“The new trauma rooms are a tremendous resource for the community,” said Jeff Joyner, president of Sentara Northern Virginia Media Center.  “They enable our medical staff to work more efficiently in responding to the most serious injuries.”

Other improvements include a new rapid assessment room, a focus care area to treat and release ambulatory patients quickly, and expanded supply storage.

Emergency Department visitors also will see a remodeled waiting area with new furniture and flooring and an open, more calming design, according to a Sentara news release. Glass partitions that formerly separated registration staff from patients checking in have been removed, for easier communication and more personal engagement. New vending machines have been installed for those in the waiting area.

In addition to the security officer at the Emergency Department entrance, Sentara security officers are on duty 24 hours a day in the Emergency Department and the hospital’s behavioral health unit. Other security personnel patrol the hospital and monitor cameras covering the entire campus.

“So far, feedback has been positive about our new safety measures,” noted Joyner. “In the next phase of security upgrades, the XtractOne system will be added to the hospital’s main entrance to further enhance patient, staff, and visitor safety.”

It is Sentara policy that all sites are weapon free areas. Signage about this policy is on every entrance door. Additionally, the hospital has a visitor badging system requiring visitors to show a photo ID and wear a visitor badge.

Sentara’s Emergency Department in Woodbridge is open 24/7 and provides access to skilled care for health issues that need immediate intervention or stabilization. These include chest pain, shortness of breath, suspected strokes, traumatic injuries with bleeding, head trauma and all other types of injuries.  If you are experiencing a life-threatening emergency, Sentara advises you to call 911 to receive guidance about securing an ambulance or seeking other care.

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Sentara adds trauma rooms, weapons detection system to Emergency Room in Woodbridge

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