Number of emergency room patients on rise at UPMC East, AHN Forbes
Hospitals in Pittsburgh’s eastern communities are seeing an increased need for emergency care as the numbers of patients seen each year continue to rise.
Between UPMC East and AHN Forbes Hospital, more than 90,000 people are being treated in emergency services a year, said Dr. Mark Rubino, president of Forbes.
“(Monroeville) has become this corridor of healthcare,” he said. “I know that we’ve saved a number of lives that would have never have been able to get Downtown in time.”
AHN Forbes Hospital is on track to see around 42,000 emergency room patients in 2019. When nearby UPMC East first opened in 2012, Forbes saw around 45,000 patients.
“So what happened in (2013), we went from 45,000 to 38,000. And then, every year since then, we’ve just gone back up,” said Rubino.
Rubino said the number of patients are increasing, in part, because of the opening of its trauma program in January 2014.
Forbes has 13 emergency department doctors and six physician assistants, with 42 beds in the department.
UPMC East started construction April 1 on a 14,000-square-foot expansion of its emergency department located on Mosside Boulevard.
“Since opening UPMC East more than six years ago, we have seen incredible growth in the number of patients we treat in our emergency department and are excited to be able to expand this area to better meet the needs of our community,” said Mark O’Hern, president of UPMC East.
The hospital reported a 23 percent increase in emergency department visits since opening in 2012. In 2013, UPMC East treated around 37,000 patients; in 2018, 46,000 were treated.
Twenty-five doctors work in the emergency department on a rotation, with eight working full time, said UPMC spokesman Rick Pietzak.
The $22 million expansion project will add 10 observation rooms and 10 private emergency exam rooms. The project also includes expansion of its ground-floor service, clinical engineering and information technology areas.
Construction will last through July 2020 and department services will not be disrupted, hospital officials said.
Dillon Carr is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Dillon at 412-871-2325, [email protected] or via Twitter .