Improving Patient Care: Hospital Unveils Expansion Plans
BY MARK WALTERS Times Staff Writer
Kevin Mosser, M.D., president of Gettysburg Hospital & senior V.P. of WellSpan Health.
Plans for an expansion to Gettysburg Hospital’s emergency room were revealed Wednesday morning.
The expansion will feature three additional private rooms, an extra triage care area, patient treatment areas dedicated to patients with minor injuries and illnesses among other amenities.
While the $18.1 million project will not be complete until 2012, hospital employees are very excited in anticipation for what they believe will provide improved patient service.
“Our goal is to make the emergency department much more patient-centered,” Gettysburg Hospital President Dr. Kevin Mosser said during a press conference at the WellSpan Adams Health Center at 40 V-Twin Drive in Straban Township. “This addition will provide added privacy as well as speed and efficiency of care.”
The 19,000-squarefoot project will not only provide larger patient rooms but also the means for “easy expansion” with what Mosser referred to as “shell space” that should take care of the community for the next 20 to 30 years.
“We feel confident that with just adding three beds that we’re going to be able to handle increasing numbers of patients,” said emergency department Medical Director Dr. William Steinour. “We looked at a three-prong approach. We’ve looked at training our people, changing our process to be more effficient and building a facility that will work with that process.”
The trauma rooms, which reflect nursing and physician input, will be equipped with flat-screen televisions, remote-operated straps and slings to help lift patients as well as a state-of-the-art IV pump, which according to emergency services Nurse Manager Leslie Brown, is capable of sending patients’ medical information into the hospital’s electronic records and programming them through the pharmacy.
Brown said that the expansion has allowed the hospital to increase its staffing, as it was approved to hire a full-time and part-time registered nurse in the emergency department in addition to four full-time technicians and four full-time paramedic positions.
“We had to (increase) our staffing to accommodate the construction, but those hired will be staying with us after the expansion is complete,” Brown said.
Mosser noted some challenges to the Gettys Street campus such as reduced parking and a different entrance to the emergency room, but remained optimistic.
“We’ll be challenged logistically as a campus with noise and other effects, but it will be well worth it,” Mosser said.
The current hospital’s emergency department, most recently renovated in 1992, cares for nearly 28,000 patients per year in a facility originally designed to treat 15,000.
The new emergency department is expected to begin seeing patients by February 2010, with project completion by August 2012. For more information on the project, visit www.wellspan.org.
Mark Walters may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org