By Josh Grossberg

When the Evaluation and Treatment Clinic (ETC) opened at Keck Hospital of USC in 2009, it proved to be so successful that the need for expansion soon became apparent.

Nearly four years later, the newly remodeled—and much larger—clinic opened for patient care on April 23.

While the clinic formerly had to ‘make do’ with two small examination rooms, it now boasts five, including a larger room that can better accommodate bariatric patients. The clinic has nearly doubled in size from 562 to 1,028 square feet.

ETC Director Yolee Casagrande said the expanded clinic will better serve hospital patients who have an unexpected need to see a health care professional.

“It’s private, beautiful and clean,” she said. “It’s just what we need.”

In addition to the examination rooms, the ETC includes a waiting area, a nursing area and an adjacent admitting space.

The 24-hour clinic on the first floor of the Norris Inpatient Tower is for patients who are already in the care of USC doctors. It discourages walk-ins.

Patients are referred by their USC physician to the ETC. Once there, a critical care nurse evaluates the patient and follows through with the physician’s orders. The patient’s doctor will see the patient in the ETC. The patient will then be treated, admitted or released. Staff will have access to the patient’s medical records. Before the ETC opened, patients were usually advised to visit an emergency room.

The ETC currently sees about 180 patients a month. When ETC first opened, they only saw a few patients per day. With the new exam rooms, patient volume is projected to grow 15-20 percent in the short term, according to hospital administrators.

The ETC is also home to the Rapid Response Team, which provides immediate medical assistance to outpatients and any other visitors who need medical assistance while at the hospital.