To meet today’s standards, accommodate projected future growth, and provide patients and family members with a greater degree of privacy, efficiency and comfort, the American Fork Hospital is implementing a plan to fully update and expand its Emergency and Surgical Services Departments.
The cornerstone of the plan features a new, state-of-the art, two-story, 79,000 square foot building, located south of the current Emergency Department. This new building will include:
A new expanded Emergency Department
- 33 percent larger than its current space
- 21 private exam rooms
- Separate entrances for ambulances and the public
- A spacious, comfortable waiting area
- Specialty rooms for OB/Gyn and pediatrics
Eight new, larger surgery suites
- Allow more space for complex surgeries and advanced surgical equipment
- Shelled space for two additional surgery suites for future expansion
- Support spaces for Surgical Services
- A 40 percent increase over current space
- Will help optimize surgical scheduling and reduce wait times
In order for American Fork Hospital to complete the additional campus improvements as noted previously, it must partner with the community to help fund these vital services.
Therefore, Utah Valley Healthcare Foundation, the fund-raising arm of American Fork Hospital, has launched an area-wide capital campaign to raise a minimum of $1.5 million.
Why this expansion is needed
The Emergency Department (ED) at American Fork Hospital is one of the busiest in Utah County and is often overcrowded which creates challenges in managing day-to-day functions. While every effort has been made to use the space as efficiently and effectively as possible, the flow, design and size do not meet the current healthcare needs of today. Most of the care spaces are shared between two or three patients with only curtains drawn between them, leaving little room for family and equipment and very little privacy. Also, with the recent Level IV Trauma designation, it is vital that the area meets all requirements so patients can receive the level of trauma service needed.
Surgical Services Expansion
The Surgical Services Department is extremely busy as well, with average occupancy of the operating rooms exceeding 80 percent. American Fork Hospital is unique in that its ratio of outpatient to inpatient surgery is quite high, with outpatient surgeries comprising more than 87 percent of the surgeries completed. With the high occupancy and higher volumes generated by increased out-patient services, challenges are created for the timing and scheduling of cases for physicians and patients.
Another limiting factor in the Surgical Services Department is the size of the surgical suites. Current industry design recommendations are 500 to 600 square feet for standard surgical suites, which are large enough to accommodate the medical equipment and staff needed for most types of surgeries. The addition will allow for new and ever-changing technologies on the horizon.
High Community Growth
The need for new, expanded and better-designed facilities is intensified by the fact that Northern Utah County has been – and continues to be – one of the highest population growth areas in the state and in the nation. Over the past 10 years, the population of Northern Utah County has almost doubled, with an annual average growth rate of seven percent. It is projected during the next ten years, Northern Utah County will experience a 3.5 to 4 percent annual growth rate.