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Improvements planned for new Stanford emergency department

Toss out a few words to describe emergency rooms visits and you might come up with harried, waiting, scary, frustrating, cramped. Creators of the new Stanford Hospital know that emergency rooms have a bad reputation. That's why they're working to employ the best practices in hospital design, with a special Stanford touch, to ensure the new emergency room is as functional, and as pleasant, as possible.

The new department, like the current department, will be called the Marc Andreessen and Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen Emergency Department. The new version will be "private, spacious and quieter," said Sam Shen, MD, in a recent newsletter article. It explains:

The new layout will have separate zones for patients with different need levels, and these zones are organized according to the way patients move through the department.

'We have an intentional, thoughtful layout with regard to activity and flow,' said Alison Kerr, RN, vice president of neuroscience, psychiatry and the emergency department. She likened the new department’s design to that of a well-organized marathon, in which the runners are grouped together according to their speed.

Similarly, children will have a special space featuring interactive art. And patients who need beds will have private rooms, which will overlook a garden.

"It's going to be a really beautiful space, with natural light and access to nature," said Jennifer Romer, RN, senior project manager of medical planning.

The department will have improvements for doctors and nurses as well:

For staff, there will be a conference room, more locker space and bathrooms with showers. And the grove of trees outside the ED, the Peery Family Garden, will allow clinicians to take a break in nature. 'In an emergency room, you can’t close the front door,' Kerr said. 'This will be a space where our medical staff can get out and clear their heads.'

Construction of the new hospital should be wrapped up in 2018.

Previously: Emergency room efficiency could rise by empowering doctors, new study finds and Improving patient satisfation and turn-around time in an emergency department
Image by Rafael Vinoly Architects

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