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ED DESIGN: 8 to 12 exam rooms in independent freestanding emergency departments

Architect Jon Huddy, an expert in emergency department planning and design, has written a second edition of his landmark handbook on ED design, which has just been released by the American College of Emergency Physicians.  Here are some of his observations about sizing of emergency departments.

  • 8 to 12 exam rooms is the “sweet spot” for independent freestanding emergency departments
  • Freestanding emergency departments that are part of hospitals tend to have more exam rooms than those that are independent
  • 1,300 to 1,500 patients/room/year has been a typical planning metric for main hospital EDs
  • 1,800 patients/room/year has been a planning metric for main hospital EDs with lower acuity patients and shorter length of stay
  • 1,800 to 2,200 patients/room/year for a new freestanding emergency department — that typically starts operation with lower acuity patients and ramps up to those with more complex, time-consuming problems over time
  • 1,700 to 1,900 patients/room/year for established freestanding emergency departments – he advises clients to go with an average of 1,800 as a starting point for planning discusisons
  • 2,200 to 2,400 patients/room/year might work for urgent care centers

Source: Huddy, J. (2016, Apr.). Emergency department design: A practical guide to planning for the future (2nd ed., pp. 264-265). Dallas: American College of Emergency Physicians. Click here: http://bookstore.acep.org/emergency-department-design-a-practical-guide-to-planning-for-the-future-2nd-ed-516615  Posted by AHA Resource Center (312) 422-2050, rc@aha.org

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