Q&A: PRMC keeping pace

Wesley White is chief operating and financial officer at Plains Regional Medical Center. He answered questions recently about the hospital expansion.

Q. What is capacity now?

A.The hospital is licensed for 106 beds. The Intensive Care Unit beds will increase from 8 to 12 in 2007.

Q. Is PRMC seeing increase in demand, and how are those demands being met?

A.Yes, demand is increasing as more physicians are recruited to the community and the population increases. The hospital is expanding services and offering new services to meet the medical needs of the community.

The Full Time Equivalent (FTE) employee staffing at PRMC has increased from 550 to 639 in 2005, an increase of 17 percent.

Q. What is the current situation on Phase 1 of construction?

A.The widening of 21st Street to four lanes has been completed. The new Physician Office Building was completed and occupied in July 2004. It has office space for 18 physicians in the Plains Regional Medical Group. The Diagnostic Clinic in the building has radiology, mammography, bone bensitometry, and EKG services, and a blood draw area for the laboratory.

The Phase 1 construction project of $8.99 million is nearing completion. The new CT Scanner Department and the new Ultrasound Department are completed and in use.

The interior of the new Emergency Department is complete, the new Emergency Department will combine the existing Emergency and Urgent Care departments. The higher than normal precipitation levels during the last four months have delayed the completion of the site work; the parking lots, sidewalks, helipad, and the new entrance from 21st street.

Q. What will the Phase 2 expansion look like?

A.The hospital master facility plan was updated in July 2004. The total project budget is $30.9 million The construction of Phase 2 is from 2005-2007.

The architects will complete the construction documents during March for the site work, the cardio department and the maintenance department additions. Site work will begin in the spring of 2005 to improve the traffic flow around the campus and expand the parking capacity. The new four-lane boulevard on the west side of the hospital will be completed to Dillon Street, new parking lots on the northeast side and northwest side of the hospital will be completed, and an new physician parking lot will be completed on north of the hospital.

Patient care areas will be added and renovated in Phase 2 during 2006-2007. Patient care areas added and renovated include:

• Cardio/pulmonary department

• Cardiac catheterization laboratory

• Four surgery operating rooms

• Surgery patient preparation and holding department

• Surgery patient recovery department

• Central sterilization department, and renovation of the existing eight operating Rooms, a new 12 bed Intensive Care Unit.

PRMC has appropriated $10 million for the 2005 construction budget and construction funding of approximately $10 million per year will be available during 2006 and 2007 to complete Phase 2.

Q.How is the expansion being funded?

A.The expansion is being funded from cash reserves and cash flow generated from operations, and bonds issued by Presbyterian Healthcare Services.

— Compiled by CNJ staff writer David Irvin