Hospital officials say when the Jewish General Hospital opens the doors of its new emergency department in about two weeks, patients will be walking into the largest and most sophisticated ER of any hospital in Quebec.

“This new emergency room will go a long way in enabling us to provide the type of care patients deserve and need,” said the hospital’s executive director Lawrence Rosenberg.

The new department, covering 82,000 square feet, is divided into three separate units when patients are dispatched depending on the severity of their case.

The Jewish General Hospital`s new emergency department will have:

  • 3 units (green, yellow and orange)
  • 52 cubicles for stretchers
  • 48 patient rooms
  • 5 resuscitation rooms
  • 1 procedure room
  • 6 rooms with special locking feature that can accommodate psychiatric patients
  • 20 recliners in the Rapid Assessment Zone where patients can get intravenous drugs

No waiting room

recliner-jewish-general-er

This is one of 20 custom-made cubicles with a recliner in the ER's rapid-assessment zone. (CBC)

Patients will notice something different as soon as they walk in — there’s no waiting room.

Instead, patients will be triaged immediately.

“A nurse greeter will see every patient right away,” said  Dr. Marc Afilalo, the hospital’s chief of emergency medicine. “For us, what is good patient flow is good care, it's safe care, it's good working conditions for the staff.”

Patients with the most acute symptoms will be dispatched to an area that includes 52 stretchers in individual, glassed-off rooms.

Less severe cases, like people suffering from kidney stones or a severe migraine, will be directed to a rapid-assessment zone which has 20 custom-made cubicles with recliners, where patients can receive intravenous drugs.

“Now, in most emergencies, [patients] are put on stretchers so it puts everyone in one area. It's not the way to go,” Afilalo said.

There is also a designated section in the emergency department reserved specifically for the elderly

Health minister calls ER ‘innovative’

In the last three weeks, staff members at the Jewish General Hospital have performed simulations, and under the new triage system,  they cut the use of stretchers by 50 per cent.

Quebec Health Minister Réjean Hébert said the new design is innovative, and could serve as an example.

“The new emergency is not only a new building, but it's a new way of doing things,’ Hébert said.

An average of 230 people show up at the Jewish General Hospital's emergency department every day.

Hospital officials say it will take five days to relocate to the new department, with its doors opening on Feb. 16.