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Published on April 08, 2013

New Emergency Department at UCH Looks to Transform Patient Care

University of Colorado Hospital's new ED designed to improve quality, eliminate waits

AURORA, Colo. – The new Emergency Department (ED) at University of Colorado Hospital (UCH) is now open and treating patients in an entirely new way designed to place the patient at the center of care, decrease waiting and optimize quality and the patient experience.

Instead of a traditional emergency department triage system where patients are often asked to wait, patients are now brought directly to a care provider. The most critically ill and injured patients are immediately cared for in one area of the ED, while less seriously ill patients are seen by a dedicated team of  care providers and quickly treated.

“Some patients will get the care they need and be headed home in as little as 15 minutes,” said Rich Zane, MD, Chair of Emergency Medicine. “We’re able to provide high-quality care and skip the patient waiting room by streamlining the entire patient experience and making sure everyone sees a physician immediately.”

Helipad atop the AIP 2 tower

The rooftop helipad enables prompt
transport of patients to the ED.

The new ED also has state of the art advanced imaging including its own dedicated next-generation CT Scanner, high fidelity ultrasound and X-Ray imaging rooms so patients won’t need to leave the department. A separate area in the ED is designated for patients who need more than a traditional visit including monitoring, treatment or diagnostic work but who don’t need to be admitted to an inpatient room.

Increased capacity, helipad access

The 56,000-square-foot ED space is on the first floor of the new UCH inpatient tower which, when four shell floors are fully built out, will give the hospital about 276 additional inpatient beds and more operating and diagnostic rooms in the 734,000-square-foot building. A new rooftop landing pad and dedicated trauma elevators will quickly bring patients transported by helicopter to the ED. In addition, the new ED space has double the number of patient rooms.

“Over the next several months, we’ll gradually open more critical and acute care beds in the new tower in addition to more operating rooms and interventional suites,” said University of Colorado Hospital President and CEO John Harney. “The excellent reputation of UCH and the demand for our high quality care has grown so quickly the need for this expansion is coming much sooner than we anticipated in our master plan. We’re very excited to be expanding into the new building which has been designed on a patient and family centered care model.”

About University of Colorado Hospital

University of Colorado Hospital is the Rocky Mountain region's leading academic medical center.  UCH is best known as an innovator in patient care and often as one of the first hospitals to bring new medicine to the patients’ bedside.  University HealthSystem Consortium named UCH the #1 Academic Medical Center in quality in the nation in both 2011 and 2012, and U.S. News & World Report named University of Colorado Hospital the best hospital in Colorado in 2012.  UCH is one of five Colorado hospitals that make up University of Colorado Health.  The hospital’s physicians are affiliated with the University of Colorado School of Medicine, part of the University of Colorado system.  Based on the expansive Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, CO, the hospital is where patient care, research and education converge to establish the future of health care delivery. 

Contact: Dan Weaver at (720) 848-7852 or

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