Liberty Regional Medical Center formally will cut the ribbon on its expanded emergency room at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 11. However, patients already were being treated in the new ER addition as early as Aug. 6, according to hospital officials.
The $4.5 million emergency-department expansion was part of the hospital’s $8.6 million remodeling project.
The new and improved emergency room is 14,000 square feet — three times the floor space of the old ER and double the emergency room’s former bed capacity, hospital CFO Sam Johnson said.
“We’re very excited about the new space and new facility,” he said, pointing out that the new ER has 22 beds, where the old one had only nine. LRMC has 25 in-patient beds and is categorized as a critical-access hospital.
The medical center’s emergency room is a Level III unit open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The department is staffed at all times with a minimum of one emergency physician, registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, patient-care technicians and advanced nursing technicians, according to libertyregional.org.
“Departmental responsibilities include the immediate treatment of any medical or surgical emergency, the initiation of life-sustaining procedures in emergency situations and the provision of emergency care for other conditions, including chronic medical problems and minor illness or injury,” the website reads.
The expanded emergency room has new patient-monitoring equipment and other upgrades, such as three state-of-the-art trauma rooms, as a result of the new addition, Johnson said.
“We have better patient-care capability in our trauma rooms and a better facility as far as it is laid out,” he said. “We have significantly more treatment rooms and a fast-track area.”
The hospital’s fast-track area allows LRMC staff to better evaluate patients and more quickly treat those who are not critically injured or sick.
The hospital CFO said improvements also were made to the obstetrics department, with the addition of a C-section operating room, and site work was done on the grounds.
“We’ve added 100 parking spaces,” he said.
Johnson said no significant changes have been made to the ER staffing level, but hospital officials are studying staffing models now to determine whether any alterations are necessary.
“We’re monitoring staffing levels closely,” he said.
The hospital ER serves an average of 28,000 patients each year, but Johnson said LRMC is seeing an uptick in the number of emergency-room patients.
“The new ER is much better-equipped and spaced to handle the needs of the community,” he said.
Renovations to the hospital’s lab and imaging department are scheduled for completion in December.
The Liberty Regional Medical Center campus is in the Lewis Ashmore Medical Park at 462 E.G. Miles Parkway in Hinesville.