Over the past thirty days, Grady and its insurance carrier, Zurich, along with emergency restoration firms and consultants retained by Zurich, have engaged in the remediation and mitigation process to identify the impacted areas and develop the full scope of the restoration project. Initially when the damage from the water incident was assessed, it appeared that the scope of the project required “selective renovation,” meaning that areas within the affected units that were damaged could be selectively identified for mediation and repair without total demolition of the units.
It was also initially felt that the repairs and renovations could be completed within a three to four-month period. However, as Grady continued assessing the damage, with the numerous consultants involved, including the state fire marshal and the City of Atlanta, it became clear that the scope of the remediation and repair project was significantly greater than originally assessed. These assessments led all parties involved to conclude that the most effective and efficient process for remediation and repair necessitates “full gut renovation.” This means the patient care areas adversely affected will be totally demolished and reconstructed. As a result, it is now anticipated that the total restoration project will be completed in October of this year.
Because of this delay, we have taken several steps to ensure the region’s healthcare access is protected. Thanks to the Governor and our state partners, we are now able to increase the number of emergency patients we are able to accept.
Under the direction of DPH and GEMA, Grady assumed the role of operating the Atlanta Metro EMS coordination center and the system is working as intended for all Metro Atlanta hospitals to ensure patients are taken to facilities based on their medical needs. Grady is accepting EMS trauma, stroke, STEMI, burn, and behavioral health patients, as well as medicine patients. We will continue to work closely with the state, the coordination center, and other hospitals to determine when Grady is at capacity for medicine patients, thus requiring a medicine diversion on a periodic basis.
We are currently handling approximately 80% of the number of ambulance transports we cared for prior to the water incident. Grady is handling the same number of walk-in patients as we did prior to the event and the arrival of a 30-bed mobile hospital from North Carolina has helped us expand our emergency room capacity and increase the number of medicine patients transported to Grady via ambulance.
Since the event, we have worked with other metro Atlanta hospitals on an ongoing basis to care for some patients we have not been able to accommodate. We are pleased to announce we have formalized arrangements with Emory Healthcare who is making patient care spaces available at two of its hospitals. Beginning January 13, Emory Decatur Hospital will assist with obstetrics patients. Additionally, Grady will transfer approximately 30 inpatients to Emory Hillandale Hospital. This partnership allows Grady to continue providing the highest level of trauma, stroke, burn, behavioral health, and other specialty care the community depends on, as we undertake the renovations that will bring the hospital back to full service.