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Allegheny Health Network’s Harmar hospital to speed up diagnostic results, ER visits


Allegheny Health Network’s future neighborhood hospital under construction in Harmar has gone up quickly over the past several months.

When it opens this fall, hospital officials predict it will result in quicker diagnostic test results and shorter emergency room stays for patients.

The two-story, 23,000-square-foot Freeport Road facility at Guys Run Road will be a 24-hour emergency care hospital offering other medical services such as lab tests, imaging services and some inpatient care.

On the spectrum of health services, the neighborhood hospital falls between an urgent-care facility and a full-service hospital.

“We can care for everything that shows up in the emergency ward via a car — from a birth to geriatrics,” said Cindy Dorundo, regional CEO of the AHN neighborhood hospitals.

The neighborhood hospital has transfer agreements to send patients with cardiac and trauma issues to other facilities. It also can provide immediate care for stroke patients before they go to a major hospital.

Diagnostic and treatment time for an emergency ward visit is expected to be speedier at the neighborhood hospital, where patients should be able to see a physician within 10 minutes of arriving and receive results from blood and urine tests in 20 minutes, Dorundo said.

Visits to the emergency ward of large hospitals can take in excess of three hours nationally, according to Dorundo.

The Harmar facility expects to treat about 50 to 60 patients a day after its first six months of operation, she said, and it will have a small inpatient department with 10 beds to treat a range of conditions.

AHN officials previously said they chose Harmar because there is a high number of patients and network members in the area. It is strategically situated between Allegheny Valley Hospital in Harrison and an AHN outpatient facility near Fox Chapel.

The Harmar site is one of four AHN neighborhood hospitals, including one in Hempfield that opened last month and others in McCandless and Brentwood that are expected to open in the coming weeks, according to Candace Herrington, an AHN spokeswoman.

AHN formed a joint venture with Texas-based Emerus, a developer and operator of neighborhood hospitals, to build the four AHN neighborhood facilities.

The Harmar hospital will start to interview and hire about 70 full-time and part-time staff starting in April, Dorundo said.

“We’re very excited to be on Freeport Road and excited about the fall of 2020,” she said.