AFCH Emergency Department Expands

Recent renovations at the American Family Children’s Hospital (AFCH) Emergency Department mean more room for children who need emergency care.

The facility expanded from approximately 2,100 square feet to 5,850 square feet—providing nearly triple the space to better accommodate the nearly 12,000 children who receive care there each year.

‘Right-Sized’ for Volume

First built in 2012, the AFCH Emergency Department is a separate area within the University Hospital Berbee Walsh Emergency Department. The renovated space fully opened to patients in November 2016.

The family-centered design now includes an enclosed, separate waiting area, two “fast-track” rooms, nine full treatment rooms and a resuscitation bay for the sickest children. Rooms are larger overall and the entire unit is decorated with child-friendly motifs that help provide a calming environment for children and their families.

“The new space is right-sized for our volume,” explained Joshua Ross, MD, an associate professor in the Department of Pediatrics and clinical vice chair of the BerbeeWalsh Department of Emergency Medicine. “We can get children in and out sooner and provide even more timely, efficient and safe care.”

Enhanced staffing now includes seven emergency medicine physicians, four of whom are fellowship-trained in pediatric emergency medicine; dedicated pediatric and emergency medicine resident staffing; nurses with special training in pediatric emergency medicine; child-life specialists; and a dedicated pediatric respiratory therapist.

The AFCH Emergency Department expansion is part of the $11.5 million BerbeeWalsh Emergency Department renovation, which added a 10-bed clinical decision unit; a multipurpose procedure room; a dedicated radiology reading room; two intake rooms and four flexible-care rooms; and technology enhancements to provide patients with visible, timely updates on their care. The project was funded by a generous donation from Dr. James Berbee and Karen Walsh, a match from University Hospital and a partial match from the Morgridge family.