From the exterior there are no changes, but as for the inside of Piedmont Medical Center, Monday marks a new day.
PMC officially opens its fully renovated and expanded emergency department.
The $20 million project doubles the size of the emergency department from 21,113 square feet to 42,251 square feet.
While the space should allow PMC to see patients more quickly and efficiently, the emergency department staff is excited about new state-of-the-art equipment and a workflow that’s designed to meet patients’ needs.
PMC has adopted an “open-door” treatment plan where patients “don’t own a room,” hospital officials have said.
Patients with minor conditions will be sent to a waiting room where they can rest in recliners while waiting for test results or to be discharged.
Patients with more serious conditions will be sent to waiting areas where their health can be monitored and, if medically indicated, admitted to the hospital.
The expansion of the emergency department opened in July. With the new space opened, PMC started renovating its old emergency department. All of the work took about a year to complete.
The emergency department now has 60 treatment areas for patients. To better serve patients, X-rays now can be done in the emergency department, and there is an on-site lab.
Use of PMC’s emergency department has risen dramatically recently. In 2010, PMC saw 57,000 emergency department patients. Last year the number was 68,500. With the expansion and renovations, PMC officials estimated they are increasing capacity by 10,000 patients annually.
Recently the emergency department has been averaging about 225 patients a day.
“This is not just our front door, but it’s the front door for the community,” said Bill Masterton, PMC’s chief executive officer.