NEA Medical Center now has all Private Rooms

January 29, 2006 -- Posted at 5:50 p.m. CST


JONESBORO, AR -- Going into the hospital is difficult enough, but once you get into the hospital you often have to share a room with another patient.


The NEA Medical Center is doing what they can to eliminate that possibility by changing all its rooms to private rooms.


“We are so pleased to announce that beginning now NEA Medical Center will be an all private bed facility,” said Dr. Steve Woodruff, Chief of Medicine at NEA Medical Center


The physician owners of the hospital have wanted to make this move for a long time.


“It's just a step along the way in our efforts to make this a first class hospital,” said Dr. Woodruff.


Paula Grimes, the Chief Nursing Officer at the NEA Medical Center, says this is something that the patients really need.  


“When you come into the hospital and you're very sick the last thing you want to do is be in the room with another patient that's very sick,” said Grimes.


And it seems patients feel the same way, “I've had two patients in here with me since I started in here a couple days ago.  Both of them were nice but it's been a lot quieter since they left,” said Jason Patterson, a patient at the NEA Medical Center.


Other than privacy there are other perks as well, primarily:  confidentiality.


“Not only does an all private room facility make it more convenient for the patients, but it makes it easier for us to provide quality care and it also provides a very safe environment,” said Dr. Woodruff.


Nurses can feel free to discuss the condition of a patient without worrying about someone else overhearing. 


“It gives you more freedom to talk about what you're going through more freedom to actually express where the pain is,” said Patterson


Doctors at the NEA Medical Center say having family around is really important in a patient’s recovery.


“It's really a big help in a hospital to have family around and it makes it so much more convenient to have the private room environment,” said Dr. Woodruff.


Patient Willyne Jordan agrees, “If you're sick you dont need conversations going on from two different sides of the family.”


Doctors, nurses, and all of the staff say that this change is a positive one.

“We just want to provide better care.  It'll help raise our standard of care by going to all private (rooms) and that's why we made the decision.  It's going to be better for our patients,” said Grimes.


Saint Bernards Medical Center tells us they too have many private rooms available for their patients. 


While some of their rooms can be made semi-private if necessary, they attempt to have private rooms for all patients who enter their facility.


“We really rely on patient feedback and from listening to our patients and guests we identified years ago that privacy is very important to them.  We are a 375 bed medical facility and most of our rooms are private.  In fact four entire floors are completely private,” said Doug Doggett, with St. Bernards Medical Center.