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On Tuesday morning, May 22, Dr. Susan Stern, chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine, Dr. Martin Makela, UWMC emergency department medical director, Sue Theiler, UWMC emergency department director and Geoff Austin, UWMC executive director, cut the ribbon on a new emergency department addition and remodel.

The remodel had been almost four years in the planning. While the major construction is done, work will continue on the space through the winter of 2018/2019 and will include facility upgrades to the remainder of the emergency department.

“The remodel has allowed us to reconfigure the emergency department entrance, as well as the area where patients are received, triaged and provided with initial care,” says Stern. “We can accomplish our work more efficiently, more readily address patient concerns and deliver care more quickly.”

According to Stern, the waiting area inside the new entrance has been set up to streamline registration and provide staff better visibility to arriving and waiting patients. The design also will improve communication among staff and facilitate more rapid assessment and treatment via the newly designed  “Rapid Medical Evaluation” area.

The finished renovation will include five new exam spaces, three new patient restrooms and a new family room, and will relocate the department’s current behavioral health rooms to better serve these patients.

In addition, there will be a new, state-of-the-art resuscitation bay; a dedicated room with new equipment for evaluation and treatment of ophthalmologic and otolaryngologic emergencies; and an isolation room that includes an ante room for highly contagious infections such as Ebola.

The emergency department contributes significantly to UW Medical Center’s inpatient volumes, with approximately 30 percent of all patients admitted to an inpatient bed at UWMC coming through the emergency department.

“The staff is excited to start using the new spaces to improve the patient experience overall and to facilitate the high-quality, patient- and family- centered care we strive for,” says Stern.


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