Tiny houses come to healthcare: Allegheny Health Network offers peek at first microhospital

The first facility, AHN Hempfield-Neighborhood Hospital, is slated to open in 2019 under part of a broader $1 billion construction plan.

Beth Jones Sanborn, Managing Editor

A rendering of the new project. Credit: Allegheny Health Network.

Pittsburgh-based Highmark Health and Allegheny Health Network revealed the location of the first of four upcoming neighborhood hospitals as Hempfield Township in Westmoreland County as the system expands their Western Pennsylvania footprint.

The first-born facility will be known as AHN Hempfield-Neighborhood Hospital.

[Also: Highmark Health, Allegheny Health Network reveal $1 billion expansion plan]

ANH's microhospital will feature an an emergency department, 10 inpatient beds for observation and short-stay use, diagnostic care, primary and specialty care, and other services.

Physician practices at the site will include specialists in neurosurgery, cardiac surgery, thoracic surgery, cardiology, general and breast surgery, and women's subspecialties.

[Also: Allegheny Health boosts home-health services with Klingensmith takeover]

The hospital's design is meant to be patient-friendly, AHN said. Nursing stations will be configured to maximize sightlines and accessibility, which means staff can more easily monitor exam rooms. An onsite lab will expedite testing processes to minimize waiting for results.

And, yes, the microhospital will be integrated into AHN's Epic electronic health record.

[Also: Allegheny Health CEO will join Highmark Health in special advisory role]

A major focal point of the plan is a partnership with microhospital specialist Emerus. AHN said it will the among the first health systems east of the Mississippi to build microhospitals based on the Emerus concept.

AHN Hempfield is part of a massive expansion plan unveiled in October by the system that touts $1 billion in new facility construction, expansion and renovation over the next four to five years. A major focal point of the plan is a partnership with microhospital giant Emerus.

Allegheny Health Network has been gradually expanding its footprint in Western Pennsylvania over the last year, before the expansion plan was revealed. In October, AHN opened a walk-in clinic in Penn Township and earlier this year, the system opened the AHN Outpatient Center--Westmoreland in Hempfield Township. The 23,000-square-foot facility provides medical and surgical specialists, state-of-the-art endoscopy center, physical and occupational therapy, lab for blood draws, X-ray and magnetic resonance imaging services.

Pending state approval, the microhospital is slated to open in 2019.

Twitter: @BethJSanborn
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