Highland Hospital Opens New Observation Unit
December 27, 2010
- Unit eases patient volumes in ED, expedites care for short-term-stay patients
- 24-hour unit includes nine beds and a dedicated staff of providers
- Project is latest of many recent Highland expansions, responding to growing demand
The Observation Unit Team
To streamline Emergency Department care, Highland Hospital is expanding its services to include a nine-bed Observation Unit, opening tomorrow, Dec. 28. The unit will enable staff to provide efficient and focused care to patients who require short-term tests or treatment.
As patient volumes increase at Highland, the Observation Unit will help accelerate care for patients coming to the Wolk Emergency Department. ED cases have nearly doubled, from about 17,000 in 1996 to 32,000 this year. Ten percent of the ED patient population is expected to be transferred to the Observation Unit, based on their medical needs. Medical Director Robert S. Bennett, M.D., says the new unit will significantly improve Highland’s ability to care for patients who require tests and treatment for a period of eight to 24 hours.
"Currently, most of these patients enter the hospital from the ED and are placed on observation status on inpatient floors," Bennett said. "By transferring them directly to the Observation Unit, these patients can receive expedited treatment and priority access to procedures such as non-invasive cardiac testing. Patients will likely be able to go home sooner because of this personalized care."
The Observation Unit will be staffed with a dedicated team of physicians, physician assistants, nurses and patient care technicians. Patients will be cared for in comfortable, private rooms with full-size hospital beds and televisions. Meals will be served to patients whose condition permits them to eat.
This is the latest of many recent expansion projects in response to growing demand for services at Highland Hospital.
- Highland is currently building two new operating suites and renovating its perioperative services area.
- In May, the hospital completed renovations on an expanded lobby area and a new outpatient pharmacy.
- In 2009, Highland opened its Wolk Emergency Department and the Colorectal Physiology Center.
- In 2008, Highland opened a state-of-the art Endoscopy Center and an all-new Medical Oncology and Infusion Center.