The emergency department is required to render a range of services from basic first aid and general outpatient services to sophisticated surgical and medical emergencies. In many hospitals the ER has become a place for informal walk-in treatment for out of OPD hours
While Planning the ER these functional and demand changes needs to be incorporated and flexibility in the design to handle a range of cases economically and efficiently in terms of space, equipment, people and supplies. Because if not planned well a ER can become a high
maintenance liability for hospitals.
LOCATION: The ER should be located on the ground floor with easy patient and ambulance access. The entry should be separate and away from the hospital main entry. The entry should be easily visible and accessible as during night that becomes the main entrance for hospital.
The ER should be planned such that it is in close proximity to Radiology dept as over 50% ER patient require diagnostic services. This save the critical time during trauma cases , also the operational cost is reduced. Make sure the ER has a lift which connects to OT floor to
transfer the surgical patient without loss of any time.
ENTRANCE: The entrance for ER should be sufficiently spacious and covered to ensure following :
- Large enough entrance to accommodate two ambulances at a time.
- Covered so that the patient is protected from the weather.
- Raised platform for the ambulance discharge
- Ramp for the wheelchair and stretchers.
- Adequate parking facilities.
INTERNAL FUNCTIONAL RELATIONSHIPS
Each area of an Emergency Department plays an important part in the patient journey. The Emergency Department consists of a number of functional areas including, but not limited to:
- An entrance/waiting room/reception area
- A triage area
- A resuscitation area
- A mental health assessment area
- An acute treatment area (also referred to as acute/majors).
- A consultation area (also called Fast Track area/sub-acute/minors/ambulatory care).
- Adjunctive areas (x-ray, Short Stay Unit (SSU), allied health, investigations room (point of care testing)).
- Staff/amenities areas
- Administrative areas
- Storage areas
- Clean preparation and drug preparation room(s)
- Dirty utility and disposal areas
- Toilet (staff and patient including for disabled patients) and bathroom/shower facilities; and
- Teaching and research areas.
While planning ER the hospital should keep in mind the two essential function which needs to be planned : Administrative & Public area , and The clinical facilities.
While planning the ER its essential that you plan for the future well in advance because in ER the situations can change within minutes and
the flexible design gives you the advantage of molding as per the situation.
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Dr Salil Choudhary