Strong's New ED Will Raise Standards in Emergency Care

Expanded Cardiology Labs and Operating Rooms Strategically Located Beneath

May 21, 1999

Strong Memorial Hospital is breaking new ground. By the end of this month, construction will begin on a two-story, 105,000 square-foot building to deliver emergency medical care unlike any hospital in the region. An invitation-only groundbreaking ceremony will take place on Tuesday, May 25, from 2 to 4 p.m.

"We believe this Emergency Department will be unparalleled in this region and will set a new standard for hospitals nationwide," said Jay H. Stein, M.D., senior vice president and vice-provost for Health Affairs at the University of Rochester Medical Center. "Strong is a regional leader in emergency and trauma care and this impressive new facility will make us stronger and even better equipped to provide the best possible patient care."

New Layout and Features Improve Quality of Care

The new Emergency Department (ED) is modeled after the University of Cincinnati's emergency department designed by the Harrell Group, the architectural firm also used by Strong. It will be located on the Elmwood Avenue side of the facility next to the main entrance.

"Cincinnati's ED is on the circuit of emergency departments other hospitals visit when considering a redesign," according to Michele Harrell, M.S.N., nurse consultant of the Harrell Group. "Strong incorporated the best elements of Cincinnati's layout and added some of its own design concepts to take it to the next level. Strong's ED is likely to become another leading model of emergency department design and emergency care."

The most striking change is in the floor plan. The ground floor will have 57 exam rooms-10 more than the ED currently has-arranged in a series of horseshoes. The rooms surround a central nursing station that is raised up three steps. This efficient lay out creates high visibility of patients, thus enhancing patient care. Each patient room will have sliding glass doors to provide greater patient privacy.

A separate pediatric area will be built with its own waiting room designed to provide care in a child-friendly environment.

A world-class trauma room is designed to accommodate up to 14 patients in a disaster situation. Each of the seven bays in the trauma room will have overhead X-ray capabilities so these most acute patients don't have to be moved. A CT scanner will be located adjacent to the trauma room for quick, easy access.

To provide rapid, effective surgical intervention for victims of life-threatening injuries, fully equipped operating rooms will be located directly below the main treatment area. Critically ill victims of multiple traumas can be taken to an operating room immediately upon their arrival in the ED.

"This innovative and aggressive approach to delivering critical care is expected to improve the outcomes for a significant percentage of trauma patients treated at the Medical Center each year," said Sandra Schneider, M.D., chair of Emergency Medicine.

The ED will also include a nine-bed Clinical Decision Unit where patients can be evaluated for up to 36 hours before deciding whether they should be admitted to the hospital. The unit will allow patients with undetermined medical problems to remain in the ED under the close observation of emergency medicine physicians.

"We expect this will prevent many unnecessary hospital admissions and reduce health care costs," said Schneider.

Cath Labs and OR in Close Proximity to ED

The new Cardiac Catheterization Lab and Electrophysiology Lab space being constructed directly below the new ED will double in size with more room for patients to be cared for before and immediately after procedures, plus an area where patients can stay until they are ready to return home.

The Cardiac Catheterization Labs, with additional space and close proximity to the ED and operating rooms, will improve care for patients and better blend the care provided by the departments.

The new facility includes two additional labs, for a total of five, which will allow more patients to be cared for simultaneously, and for more testing and evaluations to be completed by the staff more quickly. A quiet room is also planned, providing an area where physicians can speak privately to patients' families.

"For the past three years, Strong has been using angioplasty instead of clot-busting drugs as the first line of defense for patients in heart attacks, an approach that has yielded more successful treatment and more rapid recovery," said Fred Ling, M.D., director of the Cardiac Catheterization Lab. "Teams of Strong doctors, nurses, technicians and other staff who work in the cardiac catheterization lab are ready around-the-clock to treat patients with heart attacks who arrive in Strong's ED - usually within an hour of diagnosis. Having the ED and Catheterization Labs located together further supports the Hospital's commitment to 24-hour emergency angioplasty."

Note: Media is invited to attend the groundbreaking ceremony. See attached media alert for details.

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