Grady Health Emergency Department

Atlanta, Georgia

Changes in healthcare allowed Grady Health to reimagine its emergency department.

With the introduction of the Affordable Care Act, care for the indigent historically handled by Grady, Atlanta’s safety-net hospital, became shared throughout the metro area community. In response, Grady transformed its emergency department (ED) facilities to act as the “front door” to the institution. Grady Health’s mission to serve was reflected in all aspects of Haskell’s emergency department design solution. The redesigned ED, which incorporates both phased renovation in place and new construction, offers a total of 89 new, private treatment spaces to serve an expected 135,000 acute, behavioral, and detention patients annually.

Extensive use of simulation modeling informed a highly efficient design.

During an operational analysis to identify process inefficiencies hindering patient care, Haskell Healthcare used simulation modeling to evaluate multiple scenarios and their potential impacts on established operational targets. The physical design for the 97,000-square-foot ED supports the idealized operational state. With a focus on efficient workflow and maximizing patient throughput, the main ED can flex to serve both “vertical” and acute patients and includes immediate access to two radiology rooms and two CT rooms. Universal treatment rooms are visible from chart work areas, and clinical support areas have moved to the perimeter of each work zone. Significant comfortably designed subwait space is also available to manage patient flow and surges in volume to as many as 400 patients daily. As many patients face socioeconomic and access challenges, the new department includes patient navigation services immediately adjacent to a Fast Track / Vertical area and the main exit corridor.

New spaces meet current operational needs while providing flexibility for the future.

The building addition to the Grady Health campus houses a ground level detention holding center for arriving/departing incarcerated patients, expansion of the Emergency Department on the first level, hospital administrative functions on the second floor and a new MRI on the third floor permitting better access from inpatient and emergency operations. The balance of space on the third floor is for future imaging component additions.

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