Bronx, NY- (April 2020) -= A medical center’s emergency department is one of the busiest, most hectic pieces of the healthcare puzzle. Planning an emergency space that is effective and utilizing the area to its fullest potential can be a difficult task when an emergency department can never be completely shut down for renovations. However, with evolving patient needs and increasing patient numbers, emergency medical spaces need to incorporate some key changes to accommodate new demands. Mixed-use development company, Simone Health, shares 4 tips for designing an effective emergency department.
- Universal treatment rooms: Universal treatment rooms are equipped to handle any medical emergency, eliminating or reducing specialized rooms for behavioral patients or OB/GYN needs. Universal treatment rooms easily accommodate any patient’s needs, with proper medical tools and equipment within an arm’s reach, condensing the treatment process by eliminating the need to deliver tools or equipment to the right patient beds. These standardized rooms also allow medical practitioners to modify patient spaces in order to better prepare for future patient needs.
- Optimal lighting: Studies have shown that natural lighting is beneficial for staff and patients alike, decreasing healing times and lowering stress and anxiety levels. Equipped with this information, it’s wise for emergency centers to incorporate more natural lighting into their space, albeit keeping windows wide and high above eye-level to minimize patient visibility from the outside and maximize sunlight inside.
- Designated patients, providers, & visitor zones: In order to effectively utilize space and discourage area crowding, an ED should designate separate spaces made for patients, providers, and visitors. Separating these groups allows for more effective treatment procedures, as visitors are contained in one area, away from important medical procedures that they could disrupt. In addition, the staff areas can serve as a collaborative area for medical staff to coordinate patient needs and demands between one another to best utilize the available space.
- Flexible staff: ED staff members must be equipped with a variety of skills in order to accommodate all different kinds of patient needs. Having flexibility in staffing allows the emergency department staff to match PA/NP’s with lower priority patients, giving physicians time with high priority patients. Staff skill sets must continuously evolve to match transforming patient demands, primarily based off of monthly data analysis of emergency patient services. Overall, an ED staff should be equipped skill-wise to handle any patient that comes through its doors.
Emergency medical departments have a lot of considerations when it comes to ensuring a positive and efficient medical experience for patients and an effective working space for medical staff. Look into some of the changes above to transform the way your emergency department runs today.