Jefferson Hospital Announces Plans for Greatly Expanded, Renovated Emergency Department

Updated on August 28, 2023

$21 Million, State-of-the-Art Facility Features Patient-Centered Design that Will Increase Capacity and Expedite Care 

Jefferson Hospital, home to one of the busiest emergency departments in southwestern Pennsylvania, is embarking on a $21 million expansion and renovation project that will enable it to provide an enhanced level of emergency care for people in the South Hills of Pittsburgh, lower Mon Valley, and surrounding communities. Officials from Jefferson and Allegheny Health Network (AHN) shared details of the expansion plans with community leaders today.

The project, which will be completed in phases, will include a complete renovation of the existing emergency department and a significant expansion of the facility that will increase its number of treatment and observation beds to 49 from the 37 it currently houses.

“We take great pride in the outstanding emergency care that we provide to more than 50,000 patients a year at Jefferson,” said Louise Urban, President and CEO, Jefferson Hospital. “For many people in our community, the emergency department serves as their initial experience with our hospital. This significant investment in a new, state-of-the-art emergency department will ensure that patients will continue to receive the best possible care at Jefferson for generations to come.

“We are extremely grateful to the leadership of AHN and Highmark Health for their continuing support of Jefferson and their commitment to providing our patients with an ever-broadening scope of high-quality health care services close to home,” she added. “We are also deeply appreciative of the Commonwealth’s generous contribution to this project and to State Senator Guy Reschenthaler for his support of our hospital and the crucial role he played in securing $1 million in state grants for this project.”

The new Jefferson emergency department will feature spacious, comfortable waiting areas and the latest advanced technologies to help caregivers triage, diagnose, and treat patients more effectively and efficiently.

Creating the emergency department of the future, however, means more than just increasing the department’s footprint and adding treatment rooms. It also requires a new approach to care.

“We are moving away from the traditional emergency department layout, where the entire department is situated around one central nurses’ station,” explained Richard Sullivan, MD, Director, Department of Emergency Medicine, Jefferson Hospital. “Our new ED will feature eight care team stations – often called nursing pods – located throughout the department that will give the clinical team a more direct connection to the surrounding treatment and observation rooms. This is a patient-centered design that will expedite care and greatly improve the outcomes and experiences of our patients.”

The treatment rooms will be flexible in order to accommodate patients of all ages, as well as all illnesses and acute disease management. That includes pediatric-friendly exam rooms and pediatric-trained clinical staff. The expansion also will include a designated behavioral health assessment and treatment area; a dedicated space for trauma, resuscitation, and bariatric patients; and the continuation of Jefferson’s Quick Care – a fast-track treatment area that allows for expedited care for minor medical conditions that are urgent, but not life-threatening.

The initial phase of the emergency department expansion and renovation project includes the creation of a temporary emergency department entrance. When the new construction to the front part of the emergency department is completed in 2019, the hospital’s façade will change and feature a secured walk-in emergency entrance located to the right of the hospital’s main entrance, near the current helipad. As part of the project, the helipad will be relocated to atop the roof of the emergency department, where a dedicated elevator will allow direct access for medical air transport.

“Allegheny Health Network and Highmark Health are committed to meeting the needs of all the communities we serve across the region, and that certainly includes those who live and work in southern Allegheny County and the lower Mon Valley,” said Cynthia Hundorfean, President and CEO, AHN. “Jefferson is a wonderful hospital, and we are pleased to be making another substantial investment in this community by further enhancing our patients’ access to the critical and potentially life-saving emergency care that they may need.”

The new emergency department will complement numerous significant investments that AHN has made at Jefferson over the last five years, including the opening of both a new Cancer Institute and Women and Infants Center in 2014.  As the first new obstetrics unit to be built in the state in more than 30 years, the program’s caregivers have delivered nearly 3,000 babies to date at the hospital. In recent years, Jefferson Hospital also opened a $17.5 million surgical suite that features a minimally invasive vascular suite and state-of-the-art operating room suites for minimally invasive, robotic, and advanced surgical care in a number of specialties.

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