The Texas County Memorial Hospital board of trustees received an update on the plan to move into the second floor of new construction and the plan to add an urgent care in the emergency department at their monthly meeting on Tuesday.
“We will move the medical surgical department on June 14,” Doretta Todd-Willis, chief nursing officer at TCMH, told board members.
Todd-Willis explained that the state hospital inspection will be done a few days prior to the move.
“We will move med surg patients in the middle of the day,” Wes Murray, chief executive officer at TCMH, said, explaining that the patients would be taken upstairs via the new patient/staff elevator.
“We expect the med surg move to go just as smoothly as the move we made to the first floor with the emergency and radiology departments,” Murray said. Murray, Todd-Willis and other department directors and staff members were on hand in the wee hours of the morning May 20 when the emergency department moved into its new location.
According to Murray, the TCMH emergency department was “busy” on the evening of May 19, but only one patient was actually cared for inside the old emergency department and moved to the new emergency department for continued care.
“We closed the door to the old emergency department and put a sign out to inform patients that the department had relocated,” Murray said.
Murray complemented Dr. Jeff Kerr, emergency department medical director, for the “positive support” he provided in moving to the new construction.
“Dr. Kerr worked that first night in the new ER, and it was a very exciting time for him,” Murray said.
Kerr is working with other members of the TCMH emergency department in planning the addition of an urgent care track that will be utilized during peak hours in the department.
“Dr. Kerr and the staff are still tweaking a few things related to the flow of the new department,” Murray said.
The urgent care will also open after the new helipad on the East side of the new construction is painted and receives approval from the Federal Aviation Administration. The concrete landing pad for the helicopters has been poured, and the pad still requires a few additional days to cure before paint can be applied to the pad.
The new helipad is located steps from the new emergency department with its own entrance/exit in the department. Currently, the old helipad is being used for air emergency transportation and patients are being transported via ambulance to the helipad.
Renovation is underway in the portions of the hospital that have been vacated following moves by departments like radiology and ER.
“We have scaled back some of our renovation plans, and our architects have asked the contractors to re-bid the renovation work,” Murray said.
Working with HMN Architects, the changes in renovation plans will save TCMH some funds from the $18.1 million United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development low-interest loan. Those funds can be applied to other items that TCMH purchased–such as new radiology equipment–for the new construction.
“We want to make the best use of the funds we have available,” Murray said.