STOCKBRIDGE — Piedmont Henry Hospital’s Emergency Department introduced its latest step in decreasing patient wait time.

Wednesday morning, 18 new vertical treatment rooms were unveiled in the department’s POD D. The treatment rooms are the first of their kind in Georgia, according to Piedmont Henry officials.

Instead of traditional size rooms with a large stretcher, the vertical treatment rooms feature a fully reclining chair, monitors, oxygen and suction equipment. They were created for patients with non-emergent complaints who come to the ED for medical help. Though designed for low-acuity patients, Dr. William Watkins, ED medical director, said the rooms are versatile enough they can transition to care for high-acuity patients if needed.

“We can call a code if needed from these rooms and monitor all patients,” Watkins said. “The chairs can lie flat if needed for treatment. It’s good to have that flexibility.”

Watkins explained that maximizing the space in the Emergency Department will decrease both wait times and length of time patients spend in the ED.

“Our hope is this increases patient satisfaction. It will also be more satisfying for the staff because they can take care of patients more efficiently.”

Communications Specialist Joycelyn Osei said the new set up will have an immediate impact in the ED.

“We have one of the busiest Emergency Departments in the state,” she said. “We can take care of more patients and give them a better experience.”

According to Osei, Piedmont Henry treats approximately 90,000 patients in the ED annually, or 250 patients daily.

The reconfiguration of the rooms increased the department’s size by 20%. In addition to the 18 vertical treatment rooms, POD D retained six regular size rooms should patient acuity change.

Katie Bowen, ED clinical manager, said the change is exciting.

“We’re going to improve patient times. I think our community is going to appreciate that,” she said.

To learn more about Piedmont Henry Hospital and check emergency department wait times, visit www.piedmont.org and select Piedmont Henry.

Education reporter Heather Middleton joined the for the Clayton News and Henry Herald in 2002.

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