WASHINGTON — The District’s largest private hospital expanded its emergency care space to handle an influx of COVID-19 patients, opening a "Ready Room" and a new tent that could be used to triage patients only feet from the E.R.
The new 2,500 square feet of MedStar Washington Hospital Center’s interior is currently configured as an emergency department overflow, a space that can now be used to assess an influx of patients.
If necessary, the space could also hold 20 additional beds for coronavirus patients, if the hospital transitions into a potential surge situation.
"Right now, we’ve set up a number of patient assessment stations where a clinician can see a patient and do the appropriate interviews," Craig DeAtley, emergency management director for MedStar Health, said.
DeAtley also showed a new tent near the hospital’s entrance, a space that could be used to relieve pressure if other parts of the hospital become congested.
"It could be used as a triage area, so some of that function comes out of an overcrowded emergency department," DeAtley said. "And in other cases, it can be used to provide patient assessment, or patient caring."
Washington accounts for the lowest number of cases in the region, with Maryland recording the highest number.
MedStar declined to comment on how many COVID-19 cases its staff is now treating.