In The Media

$1.6 Billion Hospital Redesign Dramatically Reduces ER Wait Times

staff working in the pavilion at penn medicine emergency department

A recent article in Fast Company magazine documents the journey that researchers and clinicians at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in West Philadelphia traveled to rethink the way their emergency department functions. In preparation for a new 1.5 million square-foot hospital designed by HDR and Foster + Partners as part of the PennFIRST Integrated Project Delivery team, the Penn Medicine caregivers worked to dramatically reinvent the ED patient flow process. Previously, patients were prioritized based on the severity of their case; low priority patients might wait for hours before being seen by a doctor. In the new process, doctors evaluate each person as they arrive, sending a patient to specifically designated areas within the ED based on their conditions and needs. This optimized process subsequently informed the way the new emergency department was designed. 
The article explores how the design supports the new process, including a series of semi-private triage areas where patients wait more comfortably in reclining chairs not in an uninviting lobby area filled with people. Here is where doctors and nurses conduct triage.

Penn Medicine reports that because of the revised patient flow process, patients can now get in front of a doctor in less than half an hour and, for those not needing admission, out the door in less than four hours. The new exam rooms are valuable tools for making a vast improvement for patients and for the care the ED delivers.

This $1.6 Billion Hospital Redesign Dramatically Reduces ER Waiting Times