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This $1.6 billion hospital redesign dramatically reduces ER wait times

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Visiting the emergency room at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in West Philadelphia—or really any emergency department in the U.S.—is a long ordeal. Penn’s average wait time was clocked at 80 minutes from the time a patient walked in to when they were first seen by a doctor or nurse to triage their issue. And that’s only the first step. Tests are taken, blood is drawn, labs are conducted, and all the while the patient waits. For those who don’t need to be admitted for a hospital stay, their entire visit to the ER could last more than five hours.

Most of that waiting happens in an exam room, the highly equipped space where life-saving medical treatment takes place. Every exam room filled by a patient waiting for a lab result or a nurse check-in is one less exam room available to treat another, potentially sicker, patient. “With increasing numbers of patients and limited space, that becomes a nonviable strategy,” says Keith Hemmert, MD, an assistant professor of clinical emergency medicine at Penn.

[Photo: PennFIRST]So when plans got underway for the Pavilion, the new $1.6 billion hospital complex that Penn........

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