Swedish/Redmond Emergency Department, Ambulatory Care Center Set to Open

- Public open house planned for Dec. 18; First patients welcomed Dec. 21

Dec 15, 2010, 14:05 ET from Swedish Medical Center

REDMOND, Wash., Dec. 15, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Prompt access to medical care in East King County is about to get a lot easier. Swedish this month opens a new freestanding emergency department and ambulatory care center (ACC) at 18100 Union Hill Rd. in Redmond. A community open house is planned on Sat., Dec. 18, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and the first patients will be treated on Tuesday, Dec. 21.

"We are very pleased that Swedish chose Redmond for its second in a series of advanced ACCs," said Redmond Mayor John Marchione. "It will be a strong complement to the health-care infrastructure already in place here."

Swedish/Redmond is patterned after a highly successful model Swedish developed in Issaquah. Opened in March 2005, it was the first freestanding emergency department in the region and operates at full capacity today. A third facility is scheduled to open in Mill Creek in mid-February 2011.

Swedish chose to locate in Redmond because the city and surrounding area are experiencing steady growth and trend data indicates the need for emergency and ambulatory care will grow significantly in the next five years. Many young families have settled in new Eastside homes and businesses continue to open and expand.

"This is one part of a larger plan to bring health care closer to patients in their own communities," said Kevin Brown, Swedish senior vice president and chief administrative officer. "We are rapidly transforming from a downtown 'hospital' to a community-based health-care system that treats patients where they live and work, instead of making them come to us."  

The new Redmond center encompasses nearly 85,000 square feet of space on three floors. It has 18 emergency exam rooms, open and staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week; an advanced diagnostic imaging center (with X-ray, mammography, ultrasound, CT scan and MRI), staffed by partners from Seattle Radiology; an on-site laboratory; and offices for primary- and specialty-care providers. Swedish/Redmond will immediately treat patients suffering from stroke to severe lacerations or burns, broken bones, sports injuries, allergic reactions, food poisoning, work-related injuries and many other medical emergencies and non-emergencies.

Eastside Emergency Physicians will provide up to 25 board-certified emergency medicine physicians who will rotate through Issaquah, Redmond and Mill Creek. Redmond will also employ 70 health professionals including registered nurses, medical technicians, radiology technologists, registration assistants, environmental services employees, security personnel, as well as materials management and administrative support staff.

Starting in late January 2011, the Swedish Physicians Redmond Clinic (currently located at 15670 Redmond Way) will relocate to this new site. Its six family medicine physicians will provide the full range of primary care – including pediatric care, adolescent medicine, geriatric medicine, physicals, preventive health screening and education, sports medicine and orthopedic care, diabetes care and more.

All providers at Swedish/Redmond 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.

The New Face of an Emergency Department

"We want to radically change the way people think about emergency care," said Operations Manager Lisa Knutson. "The entire focus is on getting patients through the system quickly so they can have as much time as possible with a physician."

Patients at the Swedish/Redmond Emergency Department will be taken directly to an open room, bypassing the typical triage and registration process that result in queuing and frequently long wait times. 'Direct bedding' of patients, immediate initiation of treatment and in-room registration will improve care and eliminate wasted effort.

"We'll be able work up just about any type of condition instantly, with a radiologist reading films on-site in real time, backed up by Swedish specialists in Seattle if necessary," said Brynn Karch, M.D., medical director of the Swedish/Redmond ER. "And we plan to work very closely with local physicians when we treat their patients and keep everyone in the information loop."

Community physicians can have access to Epic read-only portals where everything from a patient's chart will be displayed, allowing doctors to stay completely involved with their patients' care. Dr. Karch emphasized that the ER also 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 in service quicker and better able to cover their territory.

Swedish estimates that the Swedish/Redmond Emergency Department alone will see more than 20,000 patient visits each year.

Quality Care, Lower Cost

John Milne, M.D., Swedish's medical director for strategic development, noted 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.

"A freestanding emergency department is 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."

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.

"More care will be provided in ambulatory settings because not everything needs to be done in a hospital," emphasized Dr. Milne. "As healthcare evolves and funding mechanisms change, traditional fee-for-service models are not going to survive. We're working hard to stay ahead of the curve and offer more care in less expensive environments."

Swedish/Redmond Facility and Construction Details

The new building is managed and owned by Hammes Company, a third-party development partner of Swedish. Hammes invested $25.5 million in the structure and surrounding parking areas and construction began last April. Panattoni Construction was the general contractor and Seattle's Mahlum Architects did the design.

Swedish/Redmond Open House

A family holiday open house is scheduled on Saturday, Dec. 18 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.  

Physicians from Swedish/Redmond's primary-care clinic will be on hand to answer quick medical questions. And visitors can get a first-hand look at the new emergency department and imaging center.

Free activities will include photos with Santa and frame-decorating, face-painting, balloon artistry, a Christmas tree maze and cookie decorating. Guests can enter to win a $250 gift card to Redmond Town Center and the first 500 visitors receive a collectible Swedish/Redmond soccer scarf. Youngsters can play with Microsoft's new Kinect™ and experience Kinect™ for Xbox 360™, plus try out Nintendo® Wii™ inside a cool mobile gaming theater. Kids can bring their favorite doll or stuffed animal and get a medical check-up.

For more information about Swedish/Redmond, visit www.swedish.org/redmond.

About Swedish

Established in 1910, Swedish has grown over the last 100 years to become the largest, most comprehensive non-profit health provider in the Greater Seattle area with 8,500 employees, 3,000-physicians and 1,200-volunteers. It is comprised of four hospital campuses (First Hill, Cherry Hill, Ballard and Edmonds), an emergency department and ambulatory care center in Issaquah, Swedish Visiting Nurse Services, and the Swedish Medical Group – a network of more than 40 primary-care and specialty clinics located throughout the Puget Sound area. Swedish recently opened a new emergency department and medical office building (MOB) on its Ballard campus and will open a new MOB and hospital in the Issaquah Highlands in the summer of 2011. In addition, Swedish will open an emergency department and ambulatory care center in Redmond in mid-December of this year and a similar facility in Mill Creek in mid-February 2011. 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

SOURCE Swedish Medical Center