Hospital may seek remodel
Despite plans for new facility, officials look to remodel TMH
November 11, 2001
By JOSH NICHOLS
Daily Press writer
The Memorial Hospital is now accepting bids for a meeting room and day-surgery remodels accepting the bids, though, is all the hospital is doing at this point.
The project that the hospital is accepting bids for would add a finished lobby and meeting room to the unfinished basement of the Visiting Nurse Association building.
The hospital’s existing meeting room would be remodeled into a day-surgery area, where patients are prepared prior to surgery, and returned after surgery for recovery.
“The board chose back in July to approve the process of getting bids,” Phelps said. “That doesn’t mean we’re going to do it.”
The hospital’s current plans and prices for the new hospital will have to be considered, Phelps said.
“Clearly, if our timeline for completion of a new hospital is more than a couple of years, the board may elect to go ahead with this project, he said. “We need to see the bids first. The price and timing will have to be considered.”
The purpose of remodeling is to avoid having ambulatory patients filling up available beds in the hospital, Phelps said.
An example of an ambulatory patient is a person who comes in to have their knee scoped, Phelps said.
Currently, they have to be placed in a patient bed both before, and after surgery.
With the proposed arrangement, a patient would wait on a stretcher in a day-surgery room before and after surgery.
“You would never get co-mingled with the other patients,” Phelps said.
Two other examples of ambulatory cases in which the day room would be used include any orthopaedic procedure and cataract surgery.
“If we did this, we would be providing a quality of care consistent with other hospitals,” Phelps said. “The feedback from the community has been that they would like to have this process instead of going back to a patient-care unit. It is also more cost effective.”
Bids are due by 3 p.m. Nov. 20.
At that time, they will be opened and read to those in attendance in the hospital dining room.
“Once we get the bids back, the board will likely discuss it at the next board meeting in December,” Phelps said. “By then, we will have a better idea of what the timeline for a new hospital is.”
Even if the new hospital is approved, Phelps said the remodeling is not out of the question in the current hospital, because the overall objective of the plan is to improve customer service.
A major factor influencing the decision will be the price of the bids that the hospital receives from contractors.
“We still need to appreciate the fact that if we’re 20 months from groundbreaking, this still may be worth doing,” he said. “It will be a tough decision. A lot of it depends on cost.”