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New Stanford Hospital, ER officially open to patients

Patients were transferred to the new 824,000-square-foot facility on Sunday

About 200 patients made a grand entrance across a skybridge into the new Stanford Hospital at 500 Pasteur Drive on Sunday, marking the official opening of the 824,000-square-foot facility to the public.

The patients, who were already admitted to the old hospital at 300 Pasteur Drive, were wheeled across and to their new rooms by staff members, more than 1,600 of whom took part in the transition, according to the hospital. The transfer took three-and-a-half hours, the hospital said in a statement.

The skybridge links the new hospital and the old. The latter, which was built in 1959, will now begin a seismic retrofit and renovations. When that work is completed, Stanford Health Care will double its inpatient capacity to handle 600 single-rooms for patients.

Paul Lee, 51, a transplant patient from Texas, was the first patient to move into the new hospital. In the new building, he said he liked the large size of his private room, the comfortable furniture for his family when they visit and the view outside his window.

"This is one of the best hospitals that I've ever been in and I've been in lots of them," he said.

The big day started at 7 a.m. with the opening of the new emergency department at 1199 Welch Road, which serves adult and trauma patients. The existing emergency department at 900 Quarry Road Extension is now a dedicated pediatric emergency room, which further increases emergency services at the hospital and provides pediatric patients with specialized care for children.

"We've been looking forward to opening the doors to our new hospital, and I'm proud to share this stunning new facility with our patients. I am also grateful to our incredible employees who went above and beyond to make this a seamless transition for our patients," David Entwistle, Stanford Health Care president and CEO, said in a statement.

Staff began transporting patients at 9 a.m., with the last patient arriving at 12:30 p.m.

"On average, one patient was moved into the new hospital every three to four minutes. This is an incredible logistical feat that required months of planning," said Helen Wilmot, vice president of facilities services and planning.

Building the new hospital took more than a decade of planning and construction. The 824,000-square-foot, seven-story medical building has 368 private rooms and 20 state-of-the-art operating suites. It is the only Level 1 trauma center between San Francisco and San Jose, and its emergency department is more than double the size of the existing one.

"Welcoming the first patients to the new Stanford Hospital marks a major milestone in our precision health vision. In this world-class health care facility, we will not only treat disease, we will predict, prevent and cure it -- precisely. After a decade of planning and construction, I'm excited that the new hospital is open and ready to advance the health and wellness of our surrounding communities and people around the world," said Dr. Lloyd Minor, dean of the Stanford School of Medicine.

Internationally recognized firm Rafael Viñoly Architects designed the new hospital, which combines technology and a nature-centered approach that brings in light and sweeping views from every room. It has 4 acres of gardens, original art and new interventional operating and imaging suites and patient rooms with access to digital tools.

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