Media Contact: Ian Demsky

U-M Emergency Department opens new adult unit

Improvements increase patient capacity and upgrade arrival, waiting, and triage areas









ANN ARBOR, Mich. - A new adult unit at the University of Michigan Health System’s Emergency Department opening today provides additional space for patients to receive treatment, along with other improvements.

The $17.7 million renovation approved by the U-M Board of Regents in May 2010 creates 27 new patient care rooms and increases the size of the ED in square-footage by almost 17 percent.

The opening of the new unit marks the final stage of the project, which also expands and improves the triage area – where patients are initially assessed – as well as the arrival and waiting areas. Adjacent facilities for psychiatric emergency care were also renovated.

“We’re excited that the renovation provides new space and enhances our existing facilities, but it’s important to note that the physical improvements are only part of the ongoing quality initiatives and improvement efforts we’ve been undertaking,” says William G. Barsan, M.D., chair of U-M’s Department of Emergency Medicine. “Taken together the goal is to reduce patient waiting times and continue to make improvements in the delivery of care by our physicians, nurses and staff.”

One example of those projects is a collaboration between the Emergency Department’s heart attack and stroke teams, other units across the Heath System, local ambulance services and transferring hospitals to shave critical minutes and seconds from a patient’s arrival to the cardiac catheterization lab or neurosurgery operating room.

Across America, emergency department visits have never been higher. A recent federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study shows that they reached 136 million in 2009, a 10 percent jump from the year before. 

U-M’s Emergency Department sees over 80,000 patients a year, which is an average of more than 200 per day.

With the opening of the new C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital and Von Voigtlander Women’s Hospital, Children's Emergency Services will move to a new Emergency Department in the new hospital. This will separate emergency departments serving adults and children.

“This expansion will help us better meet the increasing demands for service while preparing us for continued growth in the future,” Barsan says.

The renovation to U-M’s Psychiatric Emergency Services area expands patient care space and adds new features to enhance patient privacy and safety. The unit provides round-the-clock services for individuals in need of immediate psychiatric care. PES will continue to see patients of all ages.

“We provide a service that many people never think about,” says Rachel Lipson Glick, clinical professor of psychiatry and director of Psychiatric Emergency Services. “But when someone is in acute distress, patients and families will appreciate the safe, comfortable environment we offer.”

To see photos visit:

To review Quality and Safety data about the Emergency Department and other areas across the Health System, visit:

NOTICE: Except where otherwise noted, all articles are published under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license. You are free to copy, distribute, adapt, transmit, or make commercial use of this work as long as you attribute Michigan Medicine as the original creator and include a link to this article.

Media Inquiries:  734-764-2220 8 a.m.-5 p.m. ET 

734-936-4000 after hours, weekends, and holidays (ask for the PR person on call) for embargoed news, videos & more