Lakeland Community Hospital in Niles, Michigan, US, is investing $7.4m to expand its emergency department.

The present emergency department is approximately 7,000ft2, but the expansion will increase this to 16,000ft2 by 2013.

The new emergency department will have a greater number of patient examination rooms, and will help improve patient waiting times and efficiency.

Hospital officials have said that the new emergency department will also offer an environment that reduces patient stress and anxiety, and improve their satisfaction.

But the expansion of the emergency department has resulted in parking changes, reports the Niles Daily Star.

"We have made adjustments in the parking patterns for our associates, and we will be monitoring the situation as time goes on," Lakeland Community Hospital administrator Debra Johnson told the paper.

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Lakeland is a not-for-profit, community-owned system of care serving the south-west Michigan region of Berrien, Cass and VanBuren counties.