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Designing the freestanding emergency department

Design tips for freestanding emergency departments (FEDs) are given in this article written by an architect.  There are two different categories of FEDs defined by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services: 1.) stand-alone hospitals specializing in emergency services, and 2.) provider-based department of the main hospital.  This article is about the second type, which means that the FED is part of a health system which has acute care hospitals.

Some cool numbers here!

  1. Hospital emergency department average length of stay = about 3 hours (180 minutes)
  2. Freestanding ED average length of stay is 30 to 60 percent faster = between 72 to 126 minutes (by my calculation)
  3. Space planning guideline = 1,800 to 2,000 visits / year / exam room
  4. Typical FED size = 12 to 16 exam rooms
  5. Typical number of FED open bays = 25% of exam room total
  6. Typical FED trauma capacity = 2 trauma rooms
  7. Parking spaces = 4.5 to 5 cars / 1000 gross square feet of building

Source: LiBassi, P.  A new front door: expanding the hospital’s reach with freestanding EDs.  HFM. Health Facilities Management;26(6):29-33, June 2013.  Click here for text: http://www.hfmmagazine.com/hfmmagazine/jsp/articledisplay.jsp?dcrpath=HFMMAGAZINE/Article/data/06JUN2013/0613HFM_FEA_architecture&domain=HFMMAGAZINE

Posted by AHA Resource Center, (312) 422-2050, rc@aha.org

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