Baptist Health Louisville opens new Observation Unit

September 07, 2021

The 32-bed observation unit provides care for patients in an observation status.

Louisville, KY – Sept. 7, 2021 – Baptist Health Louisville opened its new 32-bed Observation unit today to provide care for patients in an observation status. Construction on the new unit began in August of 2020 and includes 13,159 sq. feet of clinical space.

Some common diagnoses include low-risk chest pain, vertigo, nausea/vomiting, transient ischemic attacks, congestive heart failure and others. These patients do not meet inpatient criteria so their severity of illness is lower.

The goal for patient stay is 17 hours, however, patients will be kept as long as needed to define their diagnosis and appropriate treatment measures. Patients can be transferred out of the Observation unit to another unit in the hospital that will meet their medical needs as an inpatient.

"To reduce patient's time in the hospital, we will be standardizing medical processes that are evidence based, streamlining ancillary staff processes, reducing physician consult turnaround time, creating new workflows that start with patient expectation setting in the Emergency Department, and involving patients in their care by showing them time since admission, which is revolutionary in an acute care setting," explained Karan Shah, MD, medical director of the Observation unit.

With current capacity issues, this will allow staff to move some patients from the Emergency Department to the outpatient unit to free up space and provide the appropriate level of care.

“This will free up space within the hospital for our sickest patients and provide patient centric care that Baptist Health is known for,” said Michelle Lynn, MSN, CCRN, Executive Director of Nursing at Baptist Health Louisville.