Representatives from MU Health Care and the University of Missouri School of Medicine gathered Tuesday to celebrate the start of emergency room expansion at the university hospital with a ground breaking ceremony, turning dirt over in a small trough near the hospital’s entrance.
The renovations are expected to cost around $16 million. They’ll focus on creating more usable space in the emergency department, nearly doubling the number of exam rooms from 21 to 38 and adding an additional triage station.
Doctor Matthew Robinson, who works in the facility and serves as interim chair of the university medical school’s department of emergency medicine, said these renovations are about creating more practical room for patients.
"If we add our space, we can certainly take care of more patients more efficiently," he said, "so certainly it allows us to provide better care to an expanded population base."
Estimates of the hospital's emergency room patients have increased from 37,000 in 2011 to 49,000 in 2016. This year, hospital officials expect to care for more than 52,000 patients.
During construction, the emergency room will continue operating as normal, but with the main entrance shifted near the Missouri Psychiatric Center. Ambulance access will remain unchanged.