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By unanimous vote today, the Tennessee Health Services and Development Agency granted a certificate of need to Methodist to construct a replacement emergency department at Methodist University Hospital. To better serve patients and increase efficiency, Methodist University Hospital, 1265 Union Avenue, will undertake this $33 million project.
"This is a win for not only for patients in midtown and downtown Memphis area and the Memphis Medical District, but for patients all over the Mid-South," said Kevin M. Spiegel, FACHE, chief executive officer of Methodist University Hospital. "Methodist University Hospital serves as a tertiary/quaternary academic medical center for five counties, as it is the major teaching hospital for the University of Tennessee Health Science Center."
The new emergency department will essentially become the "front door" of the hospital on Eastmoreland. Two adjoining buildings on the campus, the Doctors' building and the West buildings at the corner of Bellevue and Eastmoreland will be demolished. The new emergency department will be a two-story structure with a heliport on the roof. The lower level will house the new ambulance entrance and parking area with elevators to the main floor. The project adds 93,000 square feet of new space and includes 6,200 square feet of renovated space. The estimated total project costs are $33,488,985.
The new center adds 16 patient treatment areas bringing the total treatment areas in the center to 54. The center will be built to green building design standards and the hospital will seek LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification.
The Methodist University Hospital emergency department is certified by the Joint Commission as a Stroke Center and Acute Myocardial Infarction (AMI) Center, and is also certified by the Society for Chest Pain Centers for Cycle IV Accreditation. The emergency department has experienced intense volume growth over the last five years from almost 47,000 visits (2007) to almost 57,000 visits (2011), and this upward trend is expected to continue. The new emergency department will be able to accommodate 70,000 patients annually.
"By expanding and repositioning our ambulance bays, pre-hospital care providers will be able to offload patients with greater efficiency in a larger covered space," said Spiegel.
This project will also improve design for disaster planning with convertible space. The lower level space designated for ambulance bays can be converted to a mass decontamination area. The observation beds in the main emergency department are positioned so that they can easily be sealed off for decontamination if needed.
The project will take approximately two years to complete.