HSHS St. Francis Hospital in Litchfield has begun construction on a new emergency department in the hospital which will open in early 2020.
“Our emergency department treated more than 11,000 patients last fiscal year. It is a vital part of the hospital services offered at HSHS St. Francis Hospital. This emergency department is an original part of the hospital which opened in 1971,” said Jim Timpe, president and CEO of the hospital.
Timpe went on to say, “Improvements have been made in the past several years to the ambulance garages and the emergency patient registration and waiting areas, but space restrictions did not allow for enlarging trauma or patient rooms.
After several hospital construction projects the past few years, which included opening a new surgery center and bringing a new MRI in-house, we now have space formerly used for these areas that are available for this important project.”
Features of the new 8,500 square-foot emergency department will include seven spacious 12 feet by 15 feet patient exam rooms, two large trauma rooms, 15 feet by 16 feet and 15 feet by 24 feet, and a 12 foot by 24 foot modern nurses’ station, conveniently located in the center of all treatment rooms, allowing for easy access and visibility for staff.
Timpe explained there will be three construction phases of the project. The first phase includes demolition of walls, flooring and ceilings, which will take approximately five to six months.
“The second and third phases will include temporary occupancies submitted to the Illinois Department of Public Health. It is estimated that it will take around ten months to complete the project. During construction, patients needing emergency services should continue to park and register in the present ER location,” Timpe said.
“We are very excited to be able to expand our emergency department. This service is a very important part of the mission of St. Francis Hospital. Having our emergency department available 24 hours a day, seven days a week is so important for the communities we serve. We see thousands of patients each year with a wide variety of illnesses and injuries,” Timpe said.
He went on to say that the new design will be so much larger than the present ER, and it will provide a nicer flow of care for patients and families. He also wants to recognize the emergency department colleagues and physicians.
"They have been very involved in this project. Their expertise and knowledge of the specific care needs of our patients and their families has been vital in the final designs of the new area. We are all looking forward to opening our new emergency department next year,” said Timpe.