UVA Gives Sneak Peek at Emergency Room Expansion
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The University of Virginia is getting ready to open its expanded emergency room and construction crews are working around the clock to finish the project with about a month to go.
On Monday, representatives of the University Emergency Department gave the media a tour of the facility. The expansion will triple the capacity of the emergency department; going from 15,000 square feet to 45,000 square feet.
Some highlights of the expansion include rapid medical evaluation, a dedicated behavioral health area, and a separate pedestrian emergency department. It will also provide 70 private beds and treatment rooms.
"Right now, we are so pressed for space that we're not really able to do all thing things as quickly as we want to and this will allow us to have a better working space and not have to see patients in the hallways because we're over-crowded," said Dr. Robert O'Connor, Chairperson of UVA Emergency Medicine.
Right now, it takes about 15 minutes for a patient to see a doctor; but that could take a couple of hours during peak times. Officials say the expansion would eliminate the mid-day lag and get patients into rooms more quickly.
The expansion is set to open October 15 and the emergency department is almost fully staffed for the added positions needed. Staff is doing dry run simulations in the new area to make sure the transition is as seamless as possible.