Allegheny Health Network (AHN) has identified Brentwood Borough as a planned location for one of four neighborhood hospitals it will build across western Pennsylvania over the next two years. AHN officials will provide details of their plans for Brentwood at a meeting of the borough’s planning commission this week.
In addition to Brentwood, AHN also is targeting the townships of Hempfield, Harmar and McCandless for neighborhood hospital development, with expected openings of the facilities in 2019.
Unlike standalone emergency departments or urgent care centers, AHN’s unique neighborhood hospital model is a fully licensed facility that is open 24/7 and offers an assortment of onsite clinical services, including an emergency department, 10 inpatient beds, diagnostic care and other complementary medical services. The hospitals will be staffed by board-certified physicians, nurses and other experienced health care professionals, all of whom are aligned around a proven, high-quality care model.
Last October, AHN and Highmark Health announced that neighborhood hospitals would be part of the organization’s $1 billion investment strategy to further improve access to affordable, high-quality health care services in the western Pennsylvania region. AHN has formed a joint venture with Texas-based Emerus, the nation’s leading developer and operator of neighborhood hospitals, to build and manage the new facilities.
For five consecutive years, Emerus has received the prestigious Press Ganey Guardian of Excellence Award, which recognizes top-performing health care organizations that have consistently achieved the top 95th percentile or above for exceptional patient experience.
“Our neighborhood hospitals will bring to communities an innovative, patient-centered model that provides the best possible experience and outcomes for those requiring emergency care, short hospital stays and other outpatient services,” said Cynthia Hundorfean, AHN President and CEO. “We have taken a number of important steps over the past several years to expand access to AHN physicians and programs, and this wonderful new facility in Brentwood will further ensure that the people who live in and near this community have more exceptional choices close to home for their health care needs.”
AHN’s neighborhood hospitals will offer well-coordinated services, from emergency care to referrals to onsite primary and specialty care physicians, if needed. The hospitals will also be integrated into AHN’s EPIC electronic health record, allowing medical records to be accessed and shared seamlessly for the best quality of care possible.
“We are excited to partner with AHN to deliver a truly differentiated health care experience in Brentwood,” said Craig Gogeun, CEO of Emerus. “Our model is focused entirely around the needs of patients and the importance of providing excellent care in an expedited and compassionate manner to those who seek our services.”
Among numerous patient-friendly design elements, AHN Brentwood—Neighborhood Hospital will feature nursing stations uniquely configured to maximize sightlines and accessibility, allowing staff to easily monitor exam rooms and minimize response times. Aesthetically pleasing and technologically advanced CT and X-ray procedure rooms will provide comfort for patients of any age, with adjacent observation rooms that keep families together during procedures. An onsite lab will expedite testing processes so patients don’t have to wait long for results.
AHN Brentwood will be closely aligned with the network’s Jefferson Hospital, in nearby Jefferson Hills, and AHN’s hospitals in the City of Pittsburgh, for patients who require a more acute level of care or follow-up appointments with specialists. It will also complement Jefferson’s existing outpatient and primary care services in the Brentwood community. When more comprehensive care is needed, the neighborhood hospital will provide a smooth transition to AHN facilities, as well as nearby independent hospitals with which AHN establishes transfer agreements.
Brentwood and its adjacent communities of Baldwin, Whitehall, Overbrook, Carrick, and other neighborhoods in the area, currently have limited options for the services AHN’s new neighborhood hospital will offer. AHN’s goal and priority in selecting locations for the neighborhood hospitals is to ensure that patients and Highmark members have access to the broadest scope of services and highest quality of care possible in the most convenient and cost-effective settings.
Brentwood Mayor Dennis H. Troy lauded AHN’s plans to develop a neighborhood hospital in his community.
“We are thrilled at the prospect of Allegheny Health Network bringing this new model of health care to our community,” said Troy. “Having improved access to emergency care and other high-quality health services will be a tremendous asset for the many people who call Brentwood home, as well as for those who live in our neighboring communities. AHN’s neighborhood hospital also will have a very positive economic impact on our community, not only bringing more jobs to the borough, but also contributing to our tax revenue base.
AHN’s neighborhood hospitals are being developed as part of a for-profit joint venture with Emerus. The network recently secured regulatory approval from the Pennsylvania Department of Health for its Hempfield neighborhood hospital, and it will comply with all applicable hospital licensure rules and regulations for each of its planned facilities.