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South Hills

A $21M renovation at Jefferson Hospital will double ER size

| Friday, March 16, 2018, 11:00 p.m.

Jefferson Hospital officials this week announced plans for a $21 million expansion and renovation project that will more than double the size of its existing emergency room.

“We see 50,000 patients a year,” in the emergency room, said Louise Urban, hospital president. “That is one patient every 10 minutes.”

The project will include a complete renovation of the existing emergency department, which will increase the number of its treatment and observation rooms from 37 to 49. The new emergency department will feature larger waiting areas, as well as the latest technologies to enable caregivers to diagnose and treat patients more effectively and efficiently.

Dr. Richard Sullivan, Jefferson Hospital's director of emergency medicine, said the new emergency department will feature eight care team stations which will give physicians and nurses more of a direct connection to the surrounding treatment and observation rooms.

“We are moving away from traditional emergency department layout, where the entire department is situated around the nurses' station,” Sullivan said.

The department's treatment rooms will be flexible to accommodate patients of all ages, as well as illnesses and acute disease management. Part of this plan includes having pediatric-friendly examination rooms staffed by a pediatric-trained clinical staff.

The expansion, which will be done in phases, also includes a designated area for behavioral health assessment and treatment area; dedicated space for trauma, resuscitation and bariatric patients; and the continuation of Quick Care – a fast-track treatment area for expedited care for minor medical conditions that are urgent, but not life threatening.

Jefferson officials said the initial phase of the emergency department expansion and renovation includes the creation of a temporary emergency department entrance.

When the new construction to the front part of the emergency department is completed next year, the hospital's façade will change and feature a secured, walk-in entrance located to the right of the hospital's main entrance. The existing helipad will be relocated to the top of the emergency department.

Plus, there will be a dedicated elevator for direct access for medical air transport.

“We're pushing care into the communities,” said Cynthia Hundorfean, president and CEO of Allegheny Health Network, the parent of Jefferson Hospital. “People can get the best of care in their communities.”

Jefferson's new emergency department will complement investments AHN has made in the last five years. These investments include the opening of a new Cancer Institute and Women and Infants Center in 2014, the first obstetrics unit to be built in the state in more than 30 years.

Suzanne Elliott is a Tribune-Review staff writer. She can be reached at, 412-871-2346, or via Twitter @41Suzanne.

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