Case study:Ala. hospital works to cut ER waits

Doctors and nurses at Huntsville (Ala.) Hospital are getting what many elsewhere can only dream about having. The hospital is building a $27 million development project that will give the hospital one of the country's largest and most up-to-date Emergency Departments. The new ED will have 63,000 square feet, from 25,000 square feet at present. It will be able to accommodate 100 patients at a time, and help the hospital to meet its goal of getting every patient seen by a doctor within 30 minutes.

As part of the changes, Huntsville is going with an emerging national trend by stationing a doctor in the triage area of the ED. His or her job will be to treat non-life-threatening injuries quickly without tying up ED beds. This should help the hospital greatly if it succeeds in reducing ED bed demand. Huntsville's ED is the state's biggest, treating about 93,000 patients last year.

To learn more about the changes:
- read this article from The Huntsville Times

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