Cedars-Sinai Medical Center has embarked on a three-year Emergency Department expansion project that will enhance access and efficiency as well as enable more specialty healthcare.
When the project is complete, it will add 16,550 square feet to the department and increase the number of care spaces from 60 to 100.
“Unlike hospitals that are either closing or reducing their services, Cedars-Sinai is living up to its promise of meeting the community’s needs by expanding our emergency medical services,” said Sam Torbati, MD, associate professor and co-chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine and medical director of Emergency Medicine.
“We’re not just expanding the physical space. We’re also implementing innovative care models that will allow us to serve patients efficiently, provide high-quality care and reduce wait times,” said Torbati, the Levin/Gordon Chair in Emergency Medicine in Honor of Joel M. Geiderman, MD.
The first step in the expansion project is underway. The current patient drop-off section is being converted into an indoor-outdoor patient waiting/triage area that will be roofed, open on one side and equipped with air conditioning and heating. The space also will feature groupings of comfortable chairs and greenery-filled planters. The new patient drop-off area will be on Gracie Allen Drive in front of the North Tower entrance. Valet parking will be available.
“This first component of the project should be completed in a few weeks. It not only will immediately provide additional space to accommodate arriving patients and reduce crowding, but it will be a very inviting, spacious environment,” said Zeke Triana, vice president of Facilities Planning, Design, and Construction.
The new space will address a frequent complaint.
“In a time when we are still navigating communicable diseases such as COVID-19, flu and RSV, patients often voice their concerns about sitting too close to others. The physical distancing that was practiced during the pandemic is now preferred by many people, and I think this indoor-outdoor space will help them feel more comfortable and protected,” said Claude Stang, RN, executive director of the Emergency Department.
New Space—New Flows
Patients entering the new waiting area will be quickly assessed by a nurse. Patients experiencing serious medical situations will be immediately moved to a treatment room.
“The addition of the indoor-outdoor space frees up room in the main waiting area to implement more efficient workflows,” Stang said. “For example, we’ll have a phlebotomist on hand to draw blood for lab work, and we’ll be able to run EKGs before patients are even given a bed."
Further efficiencies will result from the addition of what’s called a physician in triage who is paired with a nurse. The department already has one such team and will now have space to add a second. These triage teams will see patients with less serious issues who can be promptly diagnosed, treated and safely sent home, helping to significantly reduce wait times.
“Our patients want to come here, and we want to be there for them,” Torbati said.
Expansion Enables Specialized Care
When the expansion is completed, new features will include:
- Critical Care Suite—Six state-of-the-art rooms designed and equipped to provide care for acutely ill adults and one room created to meet the needs of acutely ill pediatric patients
- Behavioral Health—Several beds designated for patients requiring mental health services
Torbati said the expansion will benefit staff members as well as patients.
“They’re such a dedicated, hardworking group who take care of a high volume of often complex patients," Torbati said. "The expansion will provide more resources, more space and more efficient models of care."
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