Columbus Regional Hospital has announced plans to build a new Emergency Department and expand its Cancer Center.
The hospital’s current emergency department was built in 1992 as part of an overall building expansion project that transformed the former Bartholomew County Hospital to the larger Columbus Regional Hospital. The current department was estimated to serve 25,000 patients a year when the space was built. Emergency patient volume has averaged over 40,000 visits a year for the past several years.
“We know that an emergency trip to the hospital is not something anyone wants, but it’s important to have the best staff and facilities in place to serve our community’s needs when emergencies do happen,” says Jim Bickel, President & Chief Executive Officer of Columbus Regional Health. “Expanding our Cancer Center allows us to further extend the healing environment to allow more space for our patients and families undergoing cancer treatments.”
Construction begins this fall on the new Emergency Department, and is expected to be complete by the end of 2015. The new department will be built to the east of the main hospital building and will more than double the square footage of the current space. It will be a two-story building which will have the Emergency Department on the ground floor and a clinical decision unit on the second floor. The clinical decision unit will be for patients who need to be clinically observed by a physician while waiting on test results and do not require inpatient hospitalization. The helipad will relocate on the hospital campus to be adjacent to the new emergency department space.
The current Emergency Department will function as normal until the new location is ready.
Work also begins this fall to expand the Cancer Center, adding over 5,000 square feet to the existing center space. The number of patients receiving care at the Cancer Center has increased in the past several years, and unfortunately projections show an increased number of cancer cases in the region in the coming years. There will be no interruption in cancer care during the construction project. The expanded Cancer Center is anticipated to open in summer of 2015.
The construction project on the hospital campus also allows for improved patient parking and traffic flow. The total construction cost for the project is $30 million.
Columbus Regional had planned to build a new emergency department in the fall of 2008 but plans were interrupted when the flood occurred and building efforts shifted to flood recovery. Construction on the hospital campus also includes a new loading dock which will be located on the east side of the hospital campus. An interim loading dock approach has been used for several years as the prior space was a below-grade dock that was flooded in 2008.