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Why is a new Emergency Department needed?

For many, the Emergency Department is the "front door" to the hospital. Nearly 60 percent of Augusta Health's inpatient admissions come through the Emergency Department. Augusta Health wants all patients to experience the same expert, aesthetically pleasing, efficient care in the Emergency Department as they do throughout their inpatient experience.

The new Emergency Department will dramatically improve the overall care experience for patients, families and caregivers. The new facility will be updated to meet today's standards of care and provide the most advanced medical technology.

– David Fosnocht, MD, FACEP
President, Augusta Health
Emergency Physicians

Growing Volume

Built to serve 35,000 patients annually, patient volume has grown significantly over the years, reaching 62,000 visits in 2015. That is 77 percent more volume than it was originally designed to handle! While Augusta Health has established Urgent Care Centers throughout the community as a means to help reduce high Emergency Department volumes, patient visits continue to increase.

Advanced Equipment and Technology

The architects and clinicians who designed the Emergency Department patient treatment areas in 1994 could not possibly have foreseen the dramatic advances that would be made in equipment and technology over the last 22 years. While these enhancements provide safer, more efficient care and improve patient outcomes, they require more physical space than currently available.

Artist rendering of the new Emergency Department building

Expanded Care

The depth and breadth of services provided in the Emergency Department greatly exceed what was envisioned in 1994. Years ago, the Augusta Health ED was not expected to treat patients with complex illnesses and injuries, such as substance abuse, behavioral health, serious cardiac conditions or stroke. The higher-than-projected incidence of stroke, heart attack and trauma patients now requires the establishment of a dedicated resuscitation (trauma) area.

Patient Comfort and Privacy

When a facility is treating nearly double the number of patients it was designed to treat, and more equipment and more caregivers take up additional space, the result is less-than-optimal treatment space for patients. Patient bays are crowded and cramped. At peak times, with all patient bays occupied, patients find themselves being treated in corridors and hallways. Patient privacy is often compromised due to these crowded conditions. This is not optimal care and does not meet the standard of excellence Augusta Health has established.