“It has been a long time coming,” said Raymond Ramos, vice president/chief operating officer at Christus Spohn Beeville. “We spent a little over a year coordinating this.”
When the emergency room was first built, it was meant to handle about 50 or so patients a day. But times have changed. The town has grown. That number is up to 60 and 70 patients, which is putting a strain on the resources.
The influx of people into the area, mostly because of the Eagle Ford Shale activity, has increased the amount of traffic coming through the hospital doors.
Among the improvements patients will see with the redesign is an improved fast track room to handle smaller, non-life-threatening emergencies.
However, that is really just the tip of the iceberg regarding the improvements.
A few areas are being modified to allow nurses working to keep an eye on patients both inside the emergency and in the waiting room.
Sliding glass doors are also replacing some of the wooden doors inside the area so that nurses can closely monitor critical patients.
Half walls are replacing solid walls, again to provide visibility to rooms now hidden from view of the nurses and doctors.
Costing between $850,000 to 900,000, the renovation will help the hospital deal with the estimated 14 percent increase in emergency room patients.
This increase is in contrast to an overall hospital population of about a third the total occupancy.
Ramos said the hospital’s daily occupancy averages about 21 patients.
But, improvements and expanding emergency room care also will help hospital occupancy as patients may not have to be transferred to other areas.
So, it was with excitement that Ramos and others with the hospital took sledgehammers in hand and took the first swing at one of the walls scheduled for demolition.
“Now it is just moving ahead full steam,” he said.
“This is going to be a benefit the hospital, the community we serve, the physicians and patients.”
The project is expected to take about eight months, and the emergency room will remain open during the entire process.
“Once this project is over, we definitely feel it is going to improve the patient care process we have in our emergency room,” Ramos said.
“We ask the public to be patient.”
Jason Collins is the editor at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 121, or at editor@mySouTex.com.