As one of northeast Georgia’s largest hospitals and health systems with a seventeen-county market area, Piedmont Athens recognized that its current facility configuration would not support market growth, shifting demographics, healthcare reform, population health management or a shift toward consumer-driven healthcare. Piedmont Athens was also at the infancy of the integration of telemedicine and needed to understand how this integration would impact facility decisions.
Trinity performed a comprehensive market demand analysis, operational analysis, facility assessment and parking assessment; the phased master plan that resulted identified $260 million in capital improvements comprising 290,000 sf of expansion. The expansion includes a new bed tower, vertical expansion, and a new center of excellence. In addition, the plan identified 256,000 sf of modernization. The planning team recognized that Athens Regional did not necessarily need to add all new space to meet their needs; reconfiguration of existing space would solve many of the operational and patient care issues.
Trinity keyed in on the critical needs in surgery, endoscopy and the emergency department. In particular, the emergency department was landlocked, with insufficient flow and ill configured spaces to alleviate crowding. Trinity’s team analyzed the patient acuity and determined that reconfiguring the space to develop a rapid treatment center for low-acuity patients and a chest pain center within the emergency department would significantly improve patient care and operational flow. In addition, Piedmont Athens created a robust behavioral substance abuse crisis center, further alleviating crowding in the emergency department.
Through our operational planning expertise and knowledge of best practices, our team utilized suitable metrics, benchmarks and targets to evaluate care delivery and identified opportunities to maximize the use of existing facilities. The master plan advanced solutions that allow for flexibility as demographics and consumer preferences evolve. In addition to creating new efficiencies, the master plan also focused on Piedmont Athens’ desire to appeal to a more consumer-driven patient population. The team recognized that engaged and discerning consumers will have an enormous influence on health systems, delivery models, and access to care.
Trinity is partnering with SmithGroupJJR to design the Phase 1 facility implementation to transform Piedmont Athens Regional Medical Center into the vision created in the master plan.