BY KATHERINE NERI
To accommodate the growing demand for health care services, NYC Health + Hospitals/Queens set in motion an expansion project that will provide patients with new space, medical equipment and upgraded service — and it’s only step one of many.
The hospital officially unveiled the completion of Phase 1 (of four) of its Emergency Room Expansion Project on July 24.
Phase 1 has added three triage rooms, seven exam rooms, three nurse stations, a resuscitation room, three isolation rooms and 19 cubicles to the establishment’s Emergency Department. These inclusions contributed a total of 6,500 additional square feet, with the entire Emergency Department becoming 16,500 square feet altogether.
“This expansion will help us better serve those who entrust us with their care at some of life’s most difficult moments, and we are privileged to help them at such times,” said Dr. Mitchell Katz, president and chief executive officer of NYC Health + Hospitals/Queens.
The next three phases of the Emergency Room Expansion Project are planned to deliver spectacular services as well. Phase 2 will relocate non-emergency spaces and will add three asthma cubicles. Two existing Adult Triage rooms and adjoining corridors will undergo renovations as well.
In phase 3, an entirely new Emergency Department pod will be constructed, which will include a total of five exam rooms, six brand-new cubicles, a nurse station and workroom, and a medication room. Also included will be an expanded space for a workstation, break area and locker room for the increasing amount of physician assistants.
Phase 4 will encompass the refurbishing of existing cubicles, as well as the renovation and reconfiguration of the existing nurse station.
“The growing demand for our Emergency Department services has outstripped the present space, yet despite these challenges, we have continued to expand our services, including adding an Observation Unit,” said Chris Roker, chief executive officer of NYC Health + Hospitals/Queens. “We also have one of the best turnaround times for ambulances in the city. We’ve worked hard to earn our reputation as the premier community hospital in the borough, a place where all health care needs can be met efficiently in a caring and compassionate environment.”
The Emergency Department capacity is planned to nearly double — from its current 50,000 visits each year to 97,000 — once all four phases in the project are successfully completed, which is estimated to be in 2019.
The project will cost $5.8 million in total, with its construction having had been funded through a couple different sources. The Queens borough president’s office allotted a total of $2.5 million ($2 million for construction costs and $500,000 for medical equipment), $1,413,850 came from the City Council, and $2.4 million came from city funding for capital spending.
“NYC Health + Hospitals/Queens has a proven record of high-quality, culturally competent and patient-centered medical care for Queens families,” said Borough President Melinda Katz. “A facility that can accommodate the needs in the Emergency Department will allow its dedicated staff to better serve the growing communities of Queens.”