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April 9, 2013 > Your Local ER at Washington Hospital Just Got Better

Your Local ER at Washington Hospital Just Got Better

New Modular Units Will Improve Patient Experience and Care

The recent opening of the new modular-unit additions to Washington Hospital's emergency room is now providing both patients and healthcare providers alike with much-needed extra space to improve the flow of patients through the ER and reduce waiting times.

The 2,000 square-foot expansion consists of a new ER entrance which leads into a welcoming reception area and three comfortable waiting areas. The former registration and assessment areas in the ER will be converted into additional exam and patient-care areas. The temporary ER space is funded by hospital operations and not by bond funds. This is an interim solution to help accommodate the growing volume of patients while the new ER is being built.

"These changes will make it easier for us to care for the 4,000 to 5,000 patients who visit our emergency room each month," says Robert Alfieri, Washington Hospital's Director of Facilities Services. "The additional space will improve the flow of patients through the facility, improving the emergency room experience for both patients and staff."

The three separate waiting room areas in the new addition will help speed up the assessment process, especially during those peak patient-volume occasions. In addition, the three separate areas allow the staff to separate patients with contagious diseases from patients who have suffered traumatic injuries, thereby reducing the threat of spreading infections.

New Emergency/Critical Care Facility Construction To Begin This Year

Even greater improvements in emergency care at Washington Hospital are expected once the new three-story, 250,000 square-foot Morris Hyman Critical Care Pavilion is built.

"Our construction plans for the new building are moving forward, and we are ready to award the contract to a general contractor soon," says Alfieri. "We should have a formal schedule established in the next month. We currently expect to break ground for the construction project later this year, and we anticipate completion of construction within four years."

The upgraded Emergency Department in the new facility will be approximately four times the size of the current ER. The other components of the new building - expansions of the Coronary Care Unit (CCU) and the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) - also will enhance Washington Hospital's ability to provide the best possible care for those patients who are the sickest.

"Plans to build a new parking garage are in the works, too," Alfieri adds. "We expect construction of the parking garage to coincide with construction of the new building."

The parking structure is scheduled to be completed by the fall of 2014, providing parking relief for patients, their families and friends and other visitors to our hospital complex. Washington Hospital is also discussing with Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) the use of a portion of its Fremont station parking area for the project.

The expanded and upgraded emergency room in the Morris Hyman Critical Care Pavilion also will position Washington Hospital to apply to the Alameda County Board of Supervisors for designation as a trauma center. Currently, the closest trauma center to the Tri-City area is Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley.

For more information on construction projects at Washington Hospital, visit www.whhs.com and click on the tab for "Construction Updates."

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