U.S. Hospitals Expand Emergency Departments to Handle Increasing ED Volumes

Hospitals across the country are expanding emergency departments to manage growing ED patient volumes.

For instance, St. Joseph's Hospital Health Center in Syracuse, N.Y., will soon open a new emergency department that is three times the size of the hospital's previous ED, according to a Post-Standard report.

The new ED, which is located in an $80 million emergency services building, is designed to handle increasing volumes and streamline care for patients. The hospital's previous ED was designed for 30,000 patients annually but has seen nearly 56,000 annual visits in recent years.

The ED is divided into three areas: a speed zone for patients with minor problems who can be treated in 30 minutes or less; an intermediate zone for patients whose care will take longer than 30 minutes but who do not require hospitalization; and an acute zone for emergent cases that may need life-saving measures, according to the report. In addition, supplies are stored near patient beds and are tracked by an automated system.

In addition, Florida Hospital for Children in Orlando doubled the size of its pediatric ED to accommodate greater volumes, according to an Orlando Sentinel report. Hospital spokeswoman Sarah Channing said the number of pediatric patients entering the ED annually has more than doubled each year since the department opened in 2008, according to the report.

Related Articles on Capacity Management:

Emergency Department Visits Increase as Physician Office Visits Decrease
Emergency Department at Saint Anne's in Massachusetts Doubles Patient Capacity

ER Visits in Iowa Hospitals Increase Due to Wintry Weather

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