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Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC set to debut new emergency department

| Monday, Jan. 6, 2014, 3:12 p.m.
Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review
The family waiting area at the new ER in Magee-Women's Hospital in Oakland Monday, Jan. 6, 2014. The newly relocated emergency entrance will now be on Craft Avenue.
Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review
Monitors are programmed in an exam room at the new ER in Magee-Women's Hospital in Oakland Monday, Jan. 6, 2014.
Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review
New monitors line the hallway in the new ER in Magee-Women's Hospital in Oakland Monday, Jan. 6, 2014.
Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review
A monitor is programmed at the new ER in Magee-Women's Hospital in Oakland Monday, Jan. 6, 2014.
Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review
New exam rooms at the new ER in Magee-Women's Hospital in Oakland Monday, Jan. 6, 2014. The emergency department covers 13,000 square feet and has 22 private beds, compared with 14 semi-private beds at the previous location. Features include a critical care bay for obstetrics patients as well as ultrasound equipment fully dedicated to emergency patients.

Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC on Saturday will open an emergency department that doubles the size of its prior location and makes room for unprecedented volume, hospital officials said.

The entrance to the $6 million ER is along Craft Avenue, near the Pittsburgh Playhouse and the Magee-Womens Research Institute. Hospital officials said it is the final part of an expansion plan that included a 28-bed women's health floor and 14-bed intensive care unit.

“It's the last piece of Magee that needed a face-lift,” said Lou Baverso, vice president of operations at Magee.

Volume in Magee's ER nearly doubled in the past six years, to 23,000 annual visits from 11,000, Baverso said. Officials attribute the jump to the hospital's decision to expand services to more than just women's care.

The hospital, which became part of UPMC in 1999, also serves men and has installed specialty programs in geriatrics, cardiology, bariatrics and orthopedic surgery. Baverso said about half of emergency department visits involve patients who are not seeking women's care such as obstetrics or gynecology.

“Magee has turned into an all-service hospital,” said Dr. Joe Suyama, Magee's chief of emergency services. “It has become a hospital not just for women's health, but serving all types of persons.”

The emergency department covers 13,000 square feet and has 22 private beds, compared with 14 semi-private beds at the previous location. Features include a critical care bay for obstetrics patients as well as ultrasound equipment fully dedicated to emergency patients.

Officials originally planned to place the ER in the front of the hospital along Halket Street. But the option would have caused congestion of ambulances at the entrances and inconvenienced neighbors who live along the street, officials said.

Luis Fábregas is Trib Total Media's medical editor. Reach him at 412-320-7998 or lfabregas@tribweb.com.

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