Baptist Health Louisville’s emergency department has undergone a renovation and expansion. The project was designed by Stengel Hill Architecture. | Courtesy of Baptist Health Louisville

Baptist Health Louisville’s emergency department has received a multimillion-dollar makeover that’s expected to increase capacity, efficiency and privacy at the East End facility.

The health care provider celebrated the $18.7 million project, which features private treatment rooms and more than 9,200 square feet of additional space, at a ribbon-cutting ceremony Wednesday at the hospital, 4000 Kresge Way.

The color palette of the waiting room/lobby is intended to have a soothing effect. | Courtesy of Baptist Health Louisville

“The new space gives us capacity well into the future to be able to treat 75,000 to 80,000 patients a year, so dramatically improving our capacity” from 55,000, said Karen Newman, vice president and chief nursing officer at Baptist.

The renovation and expansion, which began in 2016, increased the number of treatment rooms from 32 to 44 and might result in speedier service for patients.

“Our slogan right now is ‘The waiting is over.’ That’s our tagline. We don’t want anyone waiting,” Newman said. With eight new triage rooms for patients, “we can get the care started  … while they’re waiting to go into a treatment room with another provider.”

Patients also will have more privacy in the facility, which has increased in size to 31,000 square feet.

Instead of “treatment bays with just curtains between the various stretchers, etc., every room is a private room with all the amenities, TVs, etc. and much more auditory privacy,” Newman said.

More ambulance bays also have been added to manage up to 10 ambulances at one time coming in. There are now two entrances as well so that critical patients get immediately put into specialized rooms.

The renovated and expanded emergency room has six new ambulance bays. | Courtesy of Baptist Health Louisville

The hospital won’t be “trying to drive all of our patients and ambulances through the same entrance,” Newman said. “So that certainly streamlines things for everyone,” and it ensures that Emergency Medical Services personnel “can get into the hospital, get that patient handed off to us, and they can get back out on the road to better serve the community.”

Other bonuses of the newly renovated facility include “family-friendly” waiting areas with charging stations and an environment that’s better for nurses and physicians, Newman said.

“It’s a much more caregiver-friendly environment,” she said. “The spaces are larger. The treatment rooms are larger. The equipment, everything that they need, is at their fingertips in the room.”

The emergency department will be fully open to the community on June 19 after some “finishing touches” have been completed, Newman said. “We are thrilled to be able to have this newly renovated and expanded emergency room because it gives us an even greater opportunity to serve our community.”

Darla Carter is a hometown girl who recently joined the staff of Insider Louisville to mostly cover health. She previously served as a longtime health and fitness writer for The Courier-Journal, where she also worked for the Metro, Neighborhoods and Features departments. Prior to that, the award-winning journalist wrote for newspapers elsewhere in Kentucky and Tennessee, covering a range of topics, from education to courts. She's a graduate of Western Kentucky University, where she studied journalism and philosophy, and is the proud mom of two young children.


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