University Health Care System’s emergency department in Augusta, Georgia, had outgrown its capacity. Renovated in 2003 to accommodate 50,000 patients per year, a little more than a decade later it was treating 80,000 annually. UH needed to renovate and expand its ED to better treat the area’s growing aging population as well as the influx of patients with multiple chronic conditions.
One year into the three-year project, UH decided to reconfigure their project team and contacted FreemanWhite, a national leader in ED design, to complete the design for the suspended project. Due to a tight transition timeline, FreemanWhite determined the best way to complete the design was to use an integrated approach between the construction manager, subconsultants, and owner. This integrated approach allowed the project to continue with minimal delays.
The completed ED opened on schedule in August 2019 and can serve over 100,000 patients per year. As the busiest ED in the Augusta area, the new ED now provides separate entrances for walk-in patients and EMS, a larger lobby, and a new and expanded patient and family waiting room. The design focused on increased operational efficiency and streamlined throughput using contemporary ED design techniques. The total project scope had 56,600 sf of interior renovation and 1,200 sf of addition, including expanded private triage rooms, four pods of 12 rooms each that are set up as “mini-EDs,” a formal security post, and a café.