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Approximately $16 million construction project to meet growing patient volumes

University of Missouri Health Care began construction June 6 on a $16 million, 27,307-square-foot expansion and renovation of University Hospital’s emergency department to meet growing patient volumes.

The project will add 6,335 square feet to the emergency department, and an additional 20,972 square feet of existing space will be renovated.

When the project is completed at the end of 2018, the new E.R. will have:

  • 17 additional exam rooms plus 21 existing exam rooms, for a total of 38
  • 10 new fast-track exam rooms
  • 1 additional triage area plus one existing triage area, for a total of 2.

The expanded emergency department will include the Frank L. Mitchell Jr., M.D., Trauma Center, the only American College of Surgeons (ACS)-verified Level I Trauma Center in central Missouri.

University Hospital opened in 1957 and was last renovated in 2002.

“In 2016, University Hospital’s emergency department provided care for more than 49,000 patients; up from 37,000 in 2011,” said Jonathan Curtright, interim chief executive officer of MU Health Care. “That is a 30 percent increase in our emergency department patient volumes in five years, and we expect that growth to continue. We are on track to provide emergency care to more than 52,000 patients in 2017. Our ER expansion and renovation at University Hospital will provide needed space for treatment of the most severely ill and injured patients.”

During construction, University Hospital’s emergency room will remain open 24/7 to serve patients.

The current Missouri Psychiatric Center entrance on Deans Drive, across from the Tiger Avenue Parking Structure, will serve as the temporary emergency room entrance until the new front entrance at One Hospital Drive opens in 2018.

Parking for ER patients will be available in the Tiger Avenue Parking Structure starting at 7 a.m. Tuesday, June 13, until completion of the project in 2018. Parking escorts will be available 24/7 to ensure University Hospital ER patients and their families get to and from their cars quickly and safely.

The current ambulance entrance at University Hospital will remain open to allow emergency vehicles access to emergency services.

“One innovative feature of this project is fast-track exam rooms that will help us continue to shorten wait times,” said Matthew Robinson, MD, interim chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine at the MU School of Medicine “We shortened ER wait times from 18 minutes in April 2016 to 11 minutes in April 2017, even with our significant growth in patient volumes. We’ll use our new fast-track rooms to quickly treat patients with less-critical injuries, such as those needing stitches or a broken bone set. This group of our patients will be able to see a doctor even faster because our fact-track exam rooms will be dedicated to their care.”

In addition to the ER expansion and renovation, the construction project will include renovation of 11,355 square feet of space to add 24 new inpatient rooms for adults with medical and behavioral issues.

Another 5,108 square feet will be added to the second floor of University Hospital for mechanical equipment including an air handler, electrical room and shelled space for future expansion.

The total cost of the University Hospital renovations and expansion will be approximately $22.6 million.

Video: To download broadcast-quality video related to this release, visit http://muextmedia.missouri.edu/munews/

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