12/11/09 — Hospital to expand ER

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Hospital to expand ER

By Laura Collins
Published in News on December 11, 2009 1:46 PM

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The Emergency Department at Wayne Memorial Hospital could soon be getting more space.

Wayne Memorial Hospital is hoping to expand its emergency department by 2011.

The hospital has filed an application with the Certificate of Need Section of the state Division of Health Service Regulation to expand the emergency department and to get another CT scanner and X-ray equipment, according to an announcement from the Department of Health and Human Services.

The proposed plan is a $21.1 million project that will add more than 31,000 square feet to the facility and renovate more than 4,000 square feet. It would almost double the number of treatment rooms from 22 to 42.

Denise Bruce, clinical director for the emergency department at the hospital, said the department has more than 53,000 visits per year, but the facility is built for about 35,000 visits per year. The facility will remain one story, and the current location will likely be used for infusion therapy as well as a waiting area.

Gene DePorter, project analyst for the Certificate of Need Section at the Department of Health and Human Services, said the hospital will be applying for a bond issue to fund this project either through a bank or the State Medical Care Commission. He said the purpose of the proposal is to justify that the hospital needs a larger facility, that it can afford a larger facility and that it will be accessible.

"We review all the information that they present so we can come to the point to either deny or approve their application. We look at access, quality and cost and how they're going to handle it," he said. "We're looking for public input and we want it. This is a piece of law that works off of funds that, to some extent, have a tax payer origin. The more people know what health care services are in their community, the better they know how to utilize them."

A public hearing for this project will be at 1 p.m. Jan. 13 at the Wayne County Public Library.

Anyone interested in commenting on the proposal can also send a letter by Dec. 31 to Certificate of Need Section, Division of Health Service Regulation, 2704 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, N.C. 27699-2704.