Columbus Regional Health’s new Emergency Department was the center of attention with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Tuesday afternoon.
CEO Jim Bickel was joined by other hospital officials, as well as Columbus Mayor Jim Lienhoop in celebrating the “sneak-peak” of the
new department. Bickel explained that the project to build on to the hospital began in 2007. However, he explained that the historic flood of 2008 delayed those plans. Bickel says that money that was set aside for the expansion had to spent on items associated with the recovery of the flood. That included keeping hospital staff on the payroll for the five-months that CRH was shut down, either completely, or in part. Bickel noted that taking care of the staff was the correct decision and allowed the hospital to resume full operations once the cleanup from the flood was complete.
The new Emergency Department is located just east of the current ER, with an entrance at 17th Street. Bickel says that the new space is much larger than the current ER, which was built 25 years ago. He notes that the the current area was built to handle up to 25,000 cases per year.
Bickel says that the department is currently handling 40,000 cases per year. The new Emergency Department, he says, was built to handle 50,000 cases per year.
Bickel cited a number of other improvements. These include an increased number of acute exam rooms, five trauma and critical rooms, a pair of isolation rooms, five rooms dedicated to psychiatric evaluations and safety, as well as a sexual-assault nurse evaluation room, which is aimed at helping victims of rape and sexual assault. Other improvements, said Bickel, include a larger ambulance bay and a helicopter pad located closer to the ER.
Bickel says that the new Emergency Department is scheduled to go into operation later this month.