Friday, April 8, 2011

Emergency Department renovates and expands to Lunder Building

LUNDER BUILDING ED: The Lunder Building ED will feature eight screening bays.

Each year, more than 90,000 patients come to the MGH for care through the Emergency Department (ED). These patients are some of the most critical cases, requiring immediate expert care and attention. To better accommodate emergency patients and their family members, the ED will expand to the new Lunder Building in July, and existing ED spaces will undergo renovations. Among the emergency services transitioning to the new building are the screening, triage and acute areas; a hazardous materials decontamination area; and a new expanded front-end patient registration area. The existing urgent and fast track areas, acute psychiatry service, emergency pediatrics and ED imaging units in the White and Ellison buildings will undergo major renovations.

THE CHANGES AT THE ED will include not only the Lunder, White and Ellison buildings, but also the White Ramp, as the outdoor ambulance bays will move inside the Lunder Building. Once designated emergency areas have moved to the new building, the vacated space in the White and Ellison buildings – approximately 31,140 square feet – will close and undergo phased renovations.

“While the ED treatment areas in the White and Ellison buildings are being renovated, the triage, screening and acute areas of the ED will operate in the Lunder Building,” says David Brown, MD, vice chair of Emergency Medicine. “The phased renovation project will be carefully staged and staggered over two and a half years. During this time we will continue to provide emergency care to a high volume of patients.”

Upon moving to the Lunder Building and once interior updates are complete, the ED will expand by an additional 17,500 square feet and include a larger, covered ambulance bay, where patients will have privacy and shelter from the elements. There also will be a climate- and temperature-controlled hazardous materials decontamination area. Most important, according to Brown, is the additional and enhanced space for those who are critically ill and injured and for emergency pediatric and psychiatric patients, who are among the most vulnerable ED populations.

Brown explains that the acute area will be larger, expanding by approximately 40 percent, from an 11-bed unit to a 17-bed unit, and the number of triage and screening rooms will increase from four to eight. There also will be dedicated space for critical care – such as cardiac resuscitation, major trauma and respiratory failure. “This will help to relieve existing capacity constraints,” says Brown.

Robert F. Seger, executive director of Emergency Services and Emergency Preparedness, says the enhancements to the ED are part of a larger patient flow redesign first piloted in 2007 to improve efficiency and decrease wait times. “Among the changes in the new system was the implementation of a clinical greeter, who makes an initial assessment and guides the patient directly to the treatment, waiting or screening rooms,” says Seger. “The system has been a tremendous success, effectively decreasing wait times for patients, speeding up the time to diagnostic testing and decreasing the length of stay. Patients often will see a caregiver within minutes of entering the ED.”

LUNDER BUILDING ED: The covered ambulance bay entrance

Maryfran Hughes, RN, nursing director of the ED, adds, “With the enhanced patient flow system in place and the move into the new building, we expect to expedite the time it takes for patients to be seen. We also will have a much better environment for patients, who will have more personal space than they do now. ED nurses are excited about the changes, as they represent additional support for patients and their families.”

The Lunder Building and renovated spaces also will include areas for emergency radiology, an electrocardiogram room, a support staff lounge, lab kiosk and large post-screening multidisciplinary patient care area that will combine existing treatment pods into a less segmented clinical space for more efficient and enhanced patient care.

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