Not only is the Jewish General Hospital's new emergency room spacious and state of the art, it will also function quite differently than before to try and make visits to the emergency as quick and painless as possible.

But while everyone's happy about the new emergency room, it didn't escape anyone's attention when the minister of health was sitting next to the hospital's executive director -- who wears a kippa -- at a news conference announcing the ER’s opening.

The Jewish has said it would defy the PQ government's proposed ban on religious headgear.

Rejean Hebert repeated Tuesday there would be a transition period and the Jewish could apply for an extension.

“There is a renewal process with some criteria and those dispositions would be useful for an Institution like the Jewish General,” he said.

But with that potential battle months away, the Jewish is now focusing on its new concept ER.

This is the first phase of the project, and construction of phases two and three is underway.

According to a news release from the hospital, once completed, the department will offer services "delivered in facilities that minimize the spread of infection and bolster efficency, all the while preserving patients' pivacy, dignity and safety."

The idea behind the new facility is to maximize efficiency.

For the cases requiring patients to be treated on a stretcher, there are different “pods,” or units, with designated areas of focus including geriatrics and mental health.

“The goal is not to make a diagnosis, the goal is just to right away send a patient to the right area - to make waiting as little as possible,” said Dr. Marc Afilalo, chief of emergency services at the hospital.

Triage is being streamlined. Minor cases, cuts, flus and fractures are sent to a 'fast track' team.

The rooms have double entrances, doors open on sensors, blood samples get whisked away to the lab automatically and there's a 'RAZ’, a rapid assessment zone.

That zone is meant for patients who aren’t sick enough to be on stretchers, but need to receive treatment such as intravenous antibiotics.

This is a concept that is new in Quebec but is standard in North America, according to Dr. Bernard Unger, the associate director of the ER.

The relocation will take five days, with the patients being moved on the last day.

The old emergency room will close at 6 a.m. on Feb. 16 at the same time as the new department will open its doors at 5777 Legare St.