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Emory University Hospital Emergency Department expands

Media Contact

Janet Christenbury

Patients should experience shorter lengths of stay, shorter times to see a provider and enhanced process improvements, thanks to a new design and major renovations to Emory University Hospital's Emergency Department (ED). A ribbon cutting, dedication and blessing were held on Thurs., Dec. 12, for the newly expanded ED.

The renovation nearly doubled the ED in size (from 9,900 square feet to 18,300 square feet), while the number of treatment spaces has increased from 21 to 34 beds. The new standard ED treatment room has been enlarged to provide both adequate clinical care and family space.

"The design and construction of this emergency department has been similar to a well-rehearsed orchestra, with a variety of people working together in harmony to create a masterpiece," says Kate Heilpern, MD, Ada Lee and Pete Correll Professor and Chair of Emergency Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine. "The new design of the ED will result in more efficient flow for both patients and staff. Patients should notice a shorter time to see a provider because of this process improvement."

CT and X-ray imaging have been incorporated within the emergency department to avoid having to transfer patients and to speed time to diagnosis. A care transition area has been added to assess patients early on to streamline their care process.

A patient- and family-centered care focus, as well as the inclusion of Patient and Family Advisors (PFAs) in the design process, resulted in expanded and enhanced family amenities, waiting areas and family consult spaces. Patient and Family Advisors are current or former Emory Healthcare patients or their family members/significant others who have volunteered their time to help improve services within the system.

"Years of planning, discussions and input from many knowledgeable people have helped us to create a state-of-the-art facility structured around patient- and family-centered care, and we couldn't have done it without our Patient and Family Advisors," says Matthew Keadey, MD, medical director of the Emory University Hospital emergency department. "Guidance and direction from our PFAs have and will continue to benefit patients and their families who seek care at Emory."

The renovation, which took 18 months to complete, had to be done while emergency care was still being sought and provided around the clock at Emory University Hospital. Construction took place in phases so emergency services could be available at all times to those who came in for treatment.

"We are grateful to all of the patients who came to Emory University Hospital's emergency room, when they were most vulnerable and in need of care, and overlooked the renovation-in-progress," says Robert Bachman, CEO of Emory University Hospital. "We also recognize the physicians and staff who have worked in a constantly-changing environment for months, while continuing to provide excellent patient care. Everyone will benefit greatly from the newly renovated emergency department, where the same high quality patient- and family-centered care will be delivered, as always."

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