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ROYAL OAK, MI-Beaumont Hospital has opened its newly expanded emergency center and an enlarged research and laboratory building, while construction goes on in another portion of the 123-acre campus for a 614,000-sf addition to the hospital’s South Tower. The 35,000-sf emergency center at Beaumont took two years and $17.5 million to build.

The facility now includes new pediatric and prompt care treatment areas, more waiting space and new walk-in and ambulance entrances.

“Patient visits to our emergency department have increased dramatically over the past few years to 105,182 visits in the year 2000,” says Dr. Andrew Wilson, chief of emergency medicine. “Now we have the space we need to care for patients more quickly and efficiently in surroundings that offer greater comfort and privacy.”

The expansion features a re-routed entrance drive and new separate entrances for walk-in and ambulance patients. Walk-in patients enter through a new greeting area with separate waiting rooms for adults and children.

The new ambulance entrance can accommodate up to 13 emergency vehicles at once in a location isolated from private-vehicle traffic. The project also includes an enhanced hazardous materials and decontamination facility located at the ambulance entrance.

The pediatrics/prompt care area expands from 10 to 19 stations and includes its own reception area. The chest pain center in existing emergency space will increase to 10 beds to accommodate Beaumont’s growing number of heart patients.

Emergency triage, the area where patients are initially evaluated for the severity of their illness and injury so that the sickest are treated the quickest, has also been expanded.

Also, a 127,000-sf, $42-million expansion of the research building has recently opened at Beaumont. The new facility features robots to help generate patient test results faster and additional research facilities to increase cutting-edge treatments for patients.

The six-story research addition took two years to build. The cost also includes a tunnel from the research and laboratory building to the hospital.

Robotics testing in the department of Clinical Pathology laboratory will result in a more rapid turnaround time for such tests as red and white blood cell counts and blood clotting time, enabling doctors to make faster diagnoses and render treatments sooner. The system should also reduce the possibility for errors.

Beaumont expects to perform 6 million lab tests this year, up from 5.5million in 2000.

The hospital is currently working on a 614,000-sf, nine-story new wing to the campus’ South Tower. The hospital will also build a 17,500, two-story powerhouse at the facility.

Michael Doyle, associate hospital director, says the additions will help ease overcrowding in the hospital.

“Our central tower is getting antiquated,” he says. “We need to open up more room for our patients by offering more one-bed suites, and open up more room for our staff for new offices, storage and education areas.”

Doyle says another wing, of about the same size, may be added to the NorthTower along 13 Mile Road by 2006.

The hospital opened in 1955 as a 238-bed community hospital. Today, the complex in Royal Oak is a 929-bed research center and main hospital, and is one of the 10 busiest inpatient hospitals in the country.

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