Grady Memorial Hospital has extended the lease on its mobile ER through March.
The Atlanta hospital opened the mobile unit in late January to handle its increasing emergency department patient volume.
Flu-related hospitalizations in Georgia have soared through the first weeks of 2018. But the latest state Public Health and CDC figures show a downward trend, indicating that the flu season may have passed its peak.
Grady officials told GHN this week that while influenza and flu-like illnesses are decreasing, the overall ER volumes remain high at the safety-net hospital. The 30-day lease of the mobile ER was due to run out at the end of this month.
“The mobile unit has been very successful in helping us manage high ED volumes, so the lease was extended for another month to help us to meet the needs of our patients,’’ said Dr. Hany Atallah, chief of emergency medicine at Grady.
The mobile emergency department, with 14 beds, is fully equipped. The unit was deployed by Charlotte-based Carolinas HealthCare System, which was recently renamed Atrium Health.
It had been used as a temporary hospital during disasters, including seven weeks in coastal Mississippi during the Hurricane Katrina recovery effort in 2005. It has also been deployed for major events and for hospitals that are doing renovations.