Highland District Hospital officials offered guided tours Thursday evening of the new emergency room expansion under construction, saying the work is on schedule and the staff is excited to begin making use of the expanded facility.
The hospital announced earlier in the week that it’s close to reaching the completion of its first phase. Phase one of the project involves expanding the current parking lot and building and finishing the exterior of the 4,400 square foot addition.
Phase two will involve completely remodeling the interior of the existing emergency department space and joining that to the new addition.
Along with the growth of the emergency department, funds raised for the GreatER Care Campaign are following the same trend.
HDH has formally launched a $1.5 million “GreatER Care” fundraising campaign for the renovation. The HDH Foundation’s fundraising efforts continue through next year. Contact Cathy Jones or Brandy Luke, campaign coordinator, at 937-393-6360 for more information about how to contribute to the GreatER Care Campaign.
After a March announcement about the expansion, ground was broken in July. Tim Parry, HDH vice president of operations, who was on hand Thursday with CEO Randy Lennartz and other hospital officials, said earlier that the ER sees an average of about 19,000 patients a year.
“It’s just based on our community and patient needs,” Parry said. “Expanding the emergency room will allow us to better serve community needs, increase privacy and security, help staff care for patients in a more efficient manner, and provide optimal care to our community.”
Most of the expansion is taking place on the northeast corner of the hospital, or to the right of the current approach to the emergency room entrance. Many of the guests on hand Thursday were emergency responders from around the county.
Parry said the expansion will increase the number of beds in the ER from 11 to 14, and that the expansion will require some additional staffing.
Improvements to the department that were described to guests on Thursday include:
• Private patient rooms and a larger waiting area to provide a greater level of comfort to patients and their families.
• Designated behavioral health rooms to better treat mental health and substance abuse.
• Centralized nurses’ stations with access to treatment rooms for a more comfortable and efficient environment.
• New drive-up ambulance bay to improve emergency transport of patients and ensure quicker delivery of care.
• Increased floor space allows for more efficient care delivery and easier accessibility for all patients.
• Specialized decontamination rooms for patients with contagious diseases or exposure to hazardous materials.
• Designated trauma room with adequate space to care for the most critically ill or injured patients.