Frightened when his 9 year-old son Mason said his chest was tight and he was having trouble breathing, Mike Wieckhorst bundled him up and drove him to CHI Health St. Mary's in Nebraska City in a hurry. Upon his arrival, though, Wieckhorst said he had no idea where to take him. "Most of the hospitals I've been to have a separate entrance to the side or back for the emergency room," Wieckhorst explained, "and they're clearly marked."

Frightened when his 9 year-old son Mason said his chest was tight and he was having trouble breathing, Mike Wieckhorst bundled him up and drove him to CHI Health St. Mary's in Nebraska City in a hurry.  Upon his arrival, though, Wieckhorst said he had no idea where to take him.  "Most of the hospitals I've been to have a separate entrance to the side or back for the emergency room," Wieckhorst explained, "and they're clearly marked."
At the new CHI Health St. Mary's facility,  way-finding signage near the drive has an arrow pointing left for the ambulance and arrows pointing right for Emergency, Hospital and Clinic entrances.
Once inside the parking lot areas though, there are no signs on the buildings or doors indicating which entries to use.  Wieckhorst drove all the way around to the back of the building looking for a marked emergency entrance before coming back to the front to enter.
In Mason's case it turned out to be an allergic reaction to something he ate, and after treatment he was fine, but Wieckhorst worried that others in an emergency situation, and/or from out of town, might also have trouble finding their way.
When asked about this issue, Dan Kelly, President of CHI Health St. Mary's said, "We have recognized that issue, based on that incident and comments we've received, and are working to address it."
Kelly said they've ordered another batch of interior signage to help with any confusion inside the facility and expect to have that up within 5 or 6 weeks, and have also consulted with an exterior signage contractor and come up with some ideas for additional external signage.
 "That will probably take more like 60-90 days to get in place, depending on the weather," Kelly explained, "and we'll have to get some cement in, etc., but it will be very noticeable."
Kelly was sympathetic to Wieckhorst's concerns and said, "We apologize to the community for any confusion created.  We always try to be responsive to your needs, and we are working to address this as quickly as possible."
For now, until those signs go up, anyone who is looking for the emergency entrance should head to the doors under the big canopy on the north side of the building.