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In the ED, More Space, Efficiency for Patient Care

Published: 05/05/2017

The Emergency Department expansion at The University of Kansas Hospital is now complete
The final phase of renovation included an expanded waiting area and triage desk, staffed here by Outpatient Registration Representative Lakiesha Tolbert.

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — The University of Kansas Hospital marked another growth milestone last week – completion of the third and final phase of its Emergency Department expansion.

The first phase, completed in December, brought immediate relief to the ED with the addition of 14 exam bays, adding to the 29 beds already there.

The final phases of the project, which wrapped up April 28, added three more exam rooms and remodeled two others, resulting in an additional isolation room.

Two Patient Liaison Services rooms were also remodeled, the patient waiting area was expanded and an ED entrance at the Center for Advanced Heart Care was remodeled.

The goals for the 18-month project not only were to manage the ED's ever-increasing patient volume, said Adam Olberding, RN, director of Nursing Emergency Services at The University of Kansas Health System.

It also was important for ED and health system staff, working collaboratively with Pulse Design Group, to help develop a transformation of both space and operations that will bridge future needs.

"This new space expands on previous REACT (Rapid Evaluation Assessment Care Team) concepts and is a new mindset that should improve all aspects of the patients' experiences in the ED," Olberding said. The project "has been a lot of work for all involved, and we're very excited to see it completed."

The expanded waiting area, which includes an additional security checkpoint, can accommodate large surges. The addition will allow for a more streamlined flow of patients into the department from the heart center and the Medical Office Building.

For the last several years, the ED often reached maximum capacity, challenging the use of existing space to serve a demand that topped 53,000 visits last year. More than 30 percent of those patients are sick enough to be admitted to the hospital.

"This project has greatly increased our capacity to care for patients during peak times as well as enhance the working environment for our staff and providers," said Olberding. "This expansion will improve safety and quality of care, as well as have a positive impact on patient flow throughout the hospital."

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