Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health recently resumed pursuit of a major expansion of the Lancaster General Hospital Emergency Department, which was temporarily on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 40,000-square-foot ED expansion along Duke Street will help address increasingly high demand for emergency services throughout the region. After the expansion opens in summer 2022, the hospital’s existing Emergency Department will be renovated and open roughly 18 months later.
When complete, the $182.5 million expansion will nearly double the current Emergency Department to 95 beds, with the capacity to serve 140,000 patients annually. The project is one of the largest investments in facilities and technology in LG Health’s history.
To enable construction to occur along Duke Street, a temporary ED entrance will be established on the Lime Street side of the hospital. That entrance is projected to open before the end of 2020.
Offices located on the hospital’s first floor are also being relocated elsewhere within and around LGH, to make way for construction of a new and expanded food-service department. The department will offer an even broader selection of healthy foods for thousands of patients and health system employees each day. The expansion would include a comforting environment serving as the hospital’s communal hub for patients, visitors and employees.
LGH became the only emergency-care provider in Lancaster City in early 2019 upon the closure of UPMC Pinnacle Lancaster. The hospital’s Emergency Department, which was designed for 90,000 annual visits, saw 118,000 visits in 2019.
In summer 2019, LG Health added nine ED beds in a temporary annex building, increasing the total number of beds to 54. The annex will be removed upon completion of the expansion.
The ED expansion will double the number of behavioral-health treatment rooms to five; double the number of trauma bays to four; and add 12 new pediatric-treatment rooms.
Additional internal and municipal approvals must be obtained before construction can begin.
LG Health reviewed the project with the Lancaster City Planning Commission in mid-September. The commission will consider a formal land development plan in mid-November. Pending these approvals, construction could begin in December.
New and Expanded Food Service Department and Dining Area
To make room for new Emergency Department construction, LGH’s Food Service department and dining area will move to the hospital’s first floor. Last renovated more than 30 years ago, the hospital’s kitchen prepares 3,500 meals each day for patients, visitors and employees.
Hospitals nationwide are upgrading their dining offerings to emphasize healthful eating and wellness, as well as to promote a sense of community through indoor and outdoor seating areas.
Demand for meals is projected to increase by 20 percent as a result of the expansion, necessitating a food-prep design featuring multiple stations that flex production based on daily demand.
The dining area will include stations offering handcrafted food and defined areas to relax, refresh and rejuvenate.
Expanded storage and refrigeration, combined with a restaurant-style production kitchen, would enable LGH to expand its healthy and locally sourced menu offerings for patients, visitors and employees.