Sibley Opens New ED

New facility is bigger, calmer, more efficient.

Published in Dome - November 2015

Every year, roughly 40,000 patients spend time in Sibley Memorial Hospital’s Emergency Department. Judging by its Press Ganey patient satisfaction scores, most of them are pleased with their visit.

But additional space and upgrades were necessary to meet a growing demand for services, according to Jennifer Abele, the department’s medical director. After three years of planning and construction, Sibley opened its new ED in September. Located on the first floor of New Sibley, the building next to the hospital, the space has expanded by 9,000 feet.

Thanks to input by physicians, nurses, staff members and patients, the facility is designed to be patient friendly and comfortable as well as highly efficient and effective, says Sibley’s president and CEO, Richard “Chip” Davis.

Its improvements include:

  • A registration representative and nurse to greet patients together so that evaluation and registration begin simultaneously
  • Sliding glass doors and curtains on all 22 patient rooms to provide a quieter, more private environment
  • Six “fast-track” rooms to expedite patient treatment for minor problems
  • A new CT scanner in the department to speed up diagnoses
  • Interior and exterior decontamination showers (The interior shower, located in a specially equipped decontamination room, will isolate patients exposed to dangerous infectious diseases. The eight exterior showers can process up to 100 people per hour in cases of hazardous materials exposure, mass accidents or radiation exposure, and it is the largest permanent structure of its kind in Washington, D.C.)

With such enhancements, the department’s patient satisfaction rates should continue to be high. In recent years, it has boasted a rating in the 95th percentile, placing it in the top 5 percent of all emergency departments nationwide. Abele attributes these high grades to “superb” levels of care and to the staff’s commitment to seeing patients within 30 minutes of their arrival.

So far, the news is even better. Since the new ED opened, wait time averages 22 minutes.