Lutheran Health Network will invest $6.1 million to expand and renovate its Lutheran Hospital emergency department.
Construction, scheduled to begin this spring, will include creating an eight-bed, 3,900-square-foot transition unit adjacent to the existing 16,600-square-foot ER, Lutheran said in a news release Tuesday.
The new area will allow for short-term patient monitoring while freeing valuable exam rooms when the ER is busiest.
The investment will include the addition of a new CT scanner for immediate access to the latest diagnostic technology, a fifth trauma bay to accommodate multiple critical patients simultaneously, and four rooms designated as a results waiting area to quickly treat and release patients, the release said.
"The ER is the first experience many people have with a hospital, and it is Lutheran’s goal to make that initial experience pleasant and seamless," Lutheran Health Network CEO Brian Bauer said in a statement.
"We constantly look for ways to streamline our process in the ER so patients quickly receive quality care."
Work on the hospital ER will occur in five phases, enabling the department to remain fully operational. Phase I will begin in April, and all work is expected to be completed by October 2018.
Phase I will include updates to part of the third floor of Medical Office Building Two on the Lutheran Hospital campus, which will allow for the relocation of existing offices on the hospital’s main level to make room for the transition unit.
Next, the transition unit will be built, as well as new locker rooms for the ER staff. The transition unit provides a dedicated patient waiting area while health care providers determine the best treatment plan.
Phase II involves creating the CT room and its adjoining trauma bay. Subsequent phases will involve renovating different sections of ER treatment rooms and work stations, including results waiting rooms.
When completed, the existing ER will have a total of 28 treatment rooms, a fifth trauma room and more workstations.
The entire space will have new flooring, paint, hardware, curtains, furniture and equipment. Including the new eight-bed transition unit, the entire adult emergency department will grow to 36 beds and 20,500 square feet.
Including with the October opening of Lutheran ER Statewood, Fort Wayne’s first freestanding ER, Lutheran said it has invested nearly $20 million over the past 18 months on emergency departments.
In 2016, LHN emergency departments regionwide received more than 137,000 patient visits. More than 96,000 ER visits occurred at Dupont, Lutheran and St. Joseph hospitals.