CHICAGO (CBS) — The first phase of the opening of the new Rush University Medical Center began Friday, as the hospital’s state-of-the-art emergency department begins operating.
As WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports, the old emergency room at the medical center stopped accepting new patients overnight, in preparation for the opening Friday morning of the new emergency room. It was designed by the medical professionals who will actually use it.READ MORE: Man's Body Pulled From Lake Michigan In Evanston, Hours After Crews Rescuing 3 Other People Find His Belongings On Beach
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports
“It’s rare that you have the opportunity to design and build your space from scratch,” said Rush emergency department chairman Dr. Dino Rumoro. “Usually, you’re retrofitting an old space.”READ MORE: Rideshare Driver Carjacked By Two Men In Avalon Park
“In this facility, we designed an over 130 percent surge capacity,” Rumoro said.
The ER also features a decontamination center – complete with decontamination showers and an enclosed ambulance bay for potentially contaminated patients – that makes Rush the only bioterrorism preparedness center in the nation.MORE NEWS: Chicago Weather: Last Weekend Of Summer May Be Among Nicest
The opening of the emergency department Friday will be followed by the transfer of patients Sunday from the old emergency room – housed in a building constructed in the 19th century – to the new, 14-story “Tower” building, the butterfly-shaped structure that is visible from the Eisenhower Expressway.