One of the busiest freestanding ERs in the country, which is in Dearborn, has completed an expansion that nearly doubles the size of the facility.
The emergency department at the Henry Ford Medical Center-Fairlane has been renovated at a cost $15 million. The improvements include 26 new private rooms, two additional nursing stations, and a fast-track triage area for treating minor ailments like sore throats and ear infections.
The expansion was needed to accommodate the increasing number of patients at the facility. When the medical center opened in 1975, the emergency department was equipped to handle 30,000 patients a year. Now, the department treats 70,000 patients a year for health problems that range from minor injuries to life-threating conditions.
“Now that our physical space is larger, wait times will be greatly decreased,” says Dr. Jason Vieder, division head of the Fairlane emergency department. “It will allow us to take care of our patients even more effectively.”
The center now offers 57 private rooms, an expanded trauma area, four nursing stations, a clinical decision unit for patients who may require a longer stay until their condition improves, and a decontamination unit for cleansing patients or staff of toxic substances or infectious agents.
“The Fairlane medical center is such a fixture in Dearborn and the surrounding communities it serves,” says Dr. John Deledda, chair of emergency medicine at Henry Ford Health System. “This renovation and expansion have been well received by our patients and staff, and it positions the entire medical center for growth well into the future.”
Emergency department staff had input on the planning and design of the new facility. The facility remained open throughout construction, which lasted two years. The expansion did not impact patient safety or the staff’s ability to provide care.
The renovation and expansion were mostly complete before the COVID-19 pandemic halted construction projects in March and April. There are a few remaining touch-ups still to be done.
The newly expanded emergency department covers about 26,000 square feet and includes more than 11,000 square feet of additional room capacity. The facility is staffed by 165 team members, including 40 physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants.
“I’m super proud of our expansion,” says Doretha Graham Brekke, director of nursing in the emergency department. “It’s amazing to walk through the doors and see the transformation. Overall, the staff is really impressed with how this project turned out.
“What this expansion means to the community of Dearborn is a nicer, more private visit when they come through our doors. There’s a homely feeling in this department now instead of a hospital kind of feeling.”
The emergency department at the Fairlane medical center is one of nine in Henry Ford Health System, which spans Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, and Jackson counties. The department is located at 19401 Hubbard Drive.
The Fairlane medical center provides nearly 30 services including cardiology, cancer care, orthopedics, and outpatient surgery.