The Miriam Hospital, which has served the Providence, R.I., area since 1926, has experienced an increasing demand for its emergency department (ED) over the years. As patient visits grew, the nearly 20-year old department was becoming overcrowded and unable to accommodate medical and technical advances.

A renovation project was started in September 2012 and broken into five phases, which allowed the ED to remain operational during construction. It was completed in May 2014.

Among the goals were expanding the facility from 42 to 47 licensed beds and creating new critical care and triage areas to improve traffic flow. Designed by the Rhode Island Hospital design team (Providence, R.I.) and constructed by Shawmut Design and Construction (Boston), the project included replacing curtained bays with private exam rooms for better infection control, patient privacy, and noise reduction.

New critical care rooms are designed to efficiently store and organize equipment, as well as reduce clutter. An alcove was added in the ambulance entrance to enable rescue teams to easily determine their destination within the new department.

The triage area was redesigned to better accommodate stretchers and the workflow was improved by adding computers in the majority of patient rooms and remodeling provider workstations to bring physicians and nurses together to facilitate teamwork.

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