Miriam Hospital completes major emergency department renovations

Miriam Hospital completes major emergency department renovations

Includes opening of new procedural care unit 

  – The Miriam Hospital is improving patient care through the completion of a renovated, expanded and more streamlined emergency department (ED) and the development of an 18-bed procedural care unit that will enhance cardiac care.

The renovated ED, which features 52 private treatment rooms and five triage bays, will make it possible for clinicians to see more patients, reduce overall visit time and improve patient privacy. The procedural care unit will better facilitate the transfer and care of patients who have been referred for cardiac service in the emergency department.

“We have redesigned and expanded our emergency department to provide the community with the increased capacity, privacy and efficiency they need, and our new procedural care unit for cardiology and endoscopy patients allows us to further enhance our cardiac care,” said Arthur Sampson, president of The Miriam Hospital. “These state-of-the art facilities match the excellence of our staff, reflect our deep commitment to quality patient-centered care, and create the most comfortable treatment environments possible.”

Each of the ED's treatment bays are large enough to accommodate patients, families, staff and modern technology. They also are better able to support infection control, reduce noise and improve patient confidentiality. In addition, there is a new enclosed triage area and additional space for critical patients, a private family room, and expanded and redesigned work stations for staff. The phased renovations to The Miriam's emergency department were completed by national construction management firm Shawmut Design and Construction.

Upgrading the ED, which was last renovated in 1995, was critical considering the increase in volume. In 1995, the emergency department was designed to handle 30,000 visits per year. Today, over 60,000 patients are treated in the ED annually and that number is expected to increase. The ED is also home to Rhode Island's first certified stroke center and is at the forefront of treatment for heart attack and stroke. The procedural care unit, adjacent to the ED, serves as a dedicated observation unit for patients who are about to or have undergone cardiac angioplasty and other procedures.

“Seventy percent of all inpatient admissions at The Miriam are first treated in the emergency department.  Our new space allows us to care for those patients more quickly and comfortably,” said Gary Bubly, M.D., medical director, emergency medicine at The Miriam. “The Miriam continues to be a leader in cardiac care – performing almost 5,000 invasive cardiology procedures annually, more than any other hospital in Rhode Island. By enhancing cardiac care through the new procedural care unit and freeing inpatient beds, we can provide for faster admission from the emergency department and expanded emergency department capacity.”

Designed with input from the hospital's ED staff, renovations began in late 2012. The focus was on maximum efficiency – improving privacy, patient transportation, work flow and collaboration among care team members. Alongside a renovated cath lab, the emergency department has a new 13-bay patient care area, which includes critical care capacity expansion. Enhancements include an additional pneumatic tube, scopes, ultrasound machines and a dedicated 64-slice CT scanner that speeds diagnosis time by 10 minutes per patient, accelerating treatment for stroke and other life-threatening conditions. Modernized, digital X-ray equipment has improved turnaround time by 13 minutes.

“Our emergency department renovations reflect an extensive interdisciplinary team approach, from executive leadership, and design and construction teams, to collaboration by department staff ranging from facilities to respiratory therapy,” said Denise Brennan, MSN, ED director. “Our nursing staff played an active role by offering vital design input and working diligently – particularly throughout construction – to consistently deliver the patient-centered care The Miriam is known for.”

Arthur Sampson added, “Our planned emergency department renovations – together with our new procedural care unit – reduce the amount of time that every patient spends in the ED by 10,000 fewer hours every year. At the same time, we're providing patients and their families with a place of solace, healing and hope.”

(release from Miriam Hospital)