Frankfort Regional Medical Center will open part one of a three part, $8.4 million construction project that will expand and improve its aging emergency department Tuesday morning.
Newly available space includes a renovated entryway, 10 state-of-the-art treatment rooms, a fast-track triage area and a CT scan suite that houses a $1 million 64-slice scanner – the fastest in the world.
“The privacy and technology upgrades are the biggest benefits,” said Karen Wooldridge, director of emergency and cardiac services. “Also, to be able to have enough rooms to immediately bed our patients. People just don’t have time to wait anymore. Lives are busy.”
Dr. Timothy Carroll, an emergency room physician, was confident the new layout wouldn’t cause much of a slow down.
“I think they’ll be some adjustment, but in the ER we’re all pretty flexible just because of the nature of the emergency department. The funny thing is, regardless of how big you build an ER, they’re gonna come. I’m sure we’ll be full the first day.”
The final product will feature 28 total beds – an increase from the current 17 available – a new trauma room, completely updated technology and an overall facelift.
Construction on the 19,500-square-foot renovation and addition began in January and is being completed in phases in order to minimize disruption to patients.
The next two phases should take about five months each to finish, setting up a mid-2013 completion date, according to Higginbotham.
The hospital currently has more than 33,000 ED visits a year.