REDMOND, WA, April 30, 2010 – After 18 months of planning, Swedish recently broke ground on a new freestanding emergency department and ambulatory care center in Redmond. Excavation began April 12, and the facility is scheduled to be complete by the end of 2010. The site is located at 18100 Union Hill Road. A community groundbreaking ceremony will be held later this spring.
“The new facility will provide a vital service to a fast-growing area,” said Kevin Brown, Swedish senior vice president and chief administrative officer. “People who live and work in the Greater Redmond area can travel 15 to 30 minutes, sometimes in heavy traffic, for medical care in an emergency.”
The Redmond ER will be patterned after a highly successful model Swedish developed in Issaquah. Opened in March 2005, the Issaquah facility was the first freestanding ER in the region and was immediately embraced by the community for bringing emergency medical care closer to home. In 2009, The Swedish/Issaquah emergency department was named best emergency department in the region by Consumers’ CHECKBOOK and also received the prestigious Summit Award by Press Ganey Associates – the health-care satisfaction industry’s most coveted mark of achievement – for maintaining patient satisfaction scores in the 95th percentile or above for at least three years. Swedish is also planning a similar facility for Mill Creek.
The Redmond facility will be able to immediately treat patients suffering from severe lacerations or burns, broken bones, sports injuries, allergic reactions, food poisoning, work-related injuries and many other medical emergencies. Swedish estimates that the emergency department alone will see more than 20,000 patient visits each year.
Plans call for 86,000 square feet of built space on three floors, with the emergency department and a full-service medical imaging center occupying the first level. Swedish will lease 55,000-square-feet of space for clinical programs – including the emergency department with 18 exam rooms, advanced diagnostic imaging (including X-ray, ultrasound, CT scan and MRI), on-site laboratory services, as well as offices for primary- and specialty-care providers. The emergency department will be open and staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The new building will be managed and owned by Hammes Company, a third-party development partner. Hammes will invest roughly $25.5 million in the structure and surrounding parking areas. Panattoni Construction is the general contractor, and Mahlum Architects designed the facility.
“The whole Greater Redmond area is experiencing steady growth, and trend data indicates the need for emergency and ambulatory care will expand significantly in the next five years,” Brown said.
John Milne, M.D., medical director for strategic development at Swedish, stated that even patients with complicated diagnoses – such as acute asthma, dehydration, congestive heart failure or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease – often respond rapidly to appropriate therapy.
“We think of a freestanding emergency department as a place to quickly evaluate, stabilize and treat people followed by closely observing them,” explained Dr. Milne. “Many will get much better during the initial treatment period and avoid an expensive hospital admission.”
He added, “There is a huge gap between what can be done in a traditional outpatient clinic and an acute-care hospital. Many people don’t require hospitalization and full inpatient treatment, but they need much more than clinic services or home care. A freestanding emergency department fits perfectly in the middle of that range.”
Patients at this Redmond facility will be taken directly to an open room, bypassing the typical triage and registration process that result in queuing and frequently long emergency department wait times. ‘Direct bedding’ of patients, immediate initiation of treatment and in-room registration will improve care and eliminate wasted effort.
“We’re really just part of the rapid evolution of health care,” said Dr. Milne. “Many more things can be done on an ambulatory or outpatient basis these days, saving people both time and money.”
Dr. Milne emphasized that the emergency department directly supports the work of local emergency response teams. By not having to drive so far to deliver patients, paramedics and emergency medical technicians will be back into service quicker and better able to cover their territory.
All physicians at the Redmond facility will have access to Epic, Swedish’s secure electronic health record system, so vital information can be easily conveyed among a patient’s authorized caregivers. The system provides a common platform for clinicians to share medical documentation, test results, prescriptions – and information can be sent to any Epic facility where a patient is treated.
“No one knows exactly how health-care reform will alter the current financing and delivery system over the next decade. Regardless of the form, we do expect to see more care delivered locally in lower cost, more flexible facilities such as this one,” said Brown. “We’ve designed this facility in Redmond so Swedish can easily adapt to changing community needs.”
Established in 1910, Swedish has grown to become the largest, most comprehensive non-profit health provider in the Greater Seattle area over its 100-year history. Today, it is comprised of three hospital campuses – First Hill, Cherry Hill and Ballard – a freestanding emergency department and ambulatory care center in Issaquah, Swedish Visiting Nurse Services, the Swedish Physician Division – a network of more than 40 primary-care and specialty clinics located throughout the Puget Sound area, including six in east King County (Redmond, Issaquah, Pine Lake, Snoqualmie, Factoria and Crossroads). This fall, Swedish broke ground on a new medical office building and hospital in the Issaquah Highlands, as well as a medical office building and ambulatory center in Ballard. In addition to general medical and surgical care, Swedish is known as a regional referral center, providing specialized treatment in areas such as cardiovascular care, cancer care, neuroscience, orthopedics, high-risk obstetrics, pediatric specialties, organ transplantation and clinical research. For more information, visit www.swedish.org and www.swedish100.org.