Stanford Hospital’s Emergency Department is going vertical

emergency chairs
To provide better, faster care, the emergency department has gone vertical. (Photo by Norbert von der Groeben)

Emergency Medicine writer SUSAN COPPA sets the scene this way: A patient—call him Jason Green—has cleared the hurdle of the packed waiting room. He has seen a physician and had several tests performed. However, unlike many other patients, he still wears his street clothes and is sitting upright in a comfortable treatment chair that resembles a living room armchair. He is a new breed of emergency department patient: a vertical one.

In Scope, the Stanford Medicine blog, Coppa reports that a “vertical flow model” was first implemented in the Stanford Emergency Department as a test in September 2014. The model replaces horizontal stretchers with comfortable chairs and has proven successful in maximizing existing space and reducing length of stay, according to a recent study in the Journal of Emergency Nursing. And thanks to an especially virulent flu season, the extra space couldn’t be more welcome.

Like many emergency departments nationwide, Stanford has seen a 4 to 8 percent growth each of the past several years. A facility built in 1976 to accommodate 40,000 patients a year, instead hosted more than 73,500 visits in 2017, according to PATRICE CALLAGY, director of emergency services at Stanford Health Care. A typical day brings an average of 200 patients; and during the flu season, that average recently swelled to 250-260 per day.

The new Stanford Hospital, set to open in late 2019, will offer a larger emergency department. The facility will feature innovations tested in the current building, including the vertical flow model.

Visit Scope to read more.