Remodeled ER, mother-baby unit in Samaritan budget

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MOSES LAKE — Samaritan Healthcare will spend $775,000 to remodel its emergency room and $950,000 to remodel the first floor of Samaritan Clinic in 2017. A list of the capital projects was presented to hospital commissioners at the regular meeting Tuesday.

Commissioners approved a $4.7 million capital budget Nov. 29. Interim Chief Financial Officer Paul Ishizuka promised a list of the specific projects costing more than $100,000 at the December meeting.

Remodeling started last week on the emergency room. Three of the existing rooms will be converted to allow treatment for conditions like sore throats and low-grade fevers. The goal of the “Quick Care” rooms is to reduce the time patients are waiting for treatment.

Currently some of the rooms in the ER are set up for treatment of specific illnesses, and those will be remodeled to allow treatment of any patient. One room that’s now a double will be reconfigured into two single rooms.

Two rooms will be set aside for behavioral and mental health patients.

The board already had authorized the expenditure of $405,000 for the project in 2016. Total project cost will be $1.18 million. Chief operating officer Becky De Mers said the project is about two weeks ahead of schedule.

The plan for the remodeled first floor at Samaritan Clinic - "which is spectacular," Ishizuka said – will be presented to the board in January. Chief executive officer Teresa Sullivan said the plan includes removing a wall in the urgent care entrance, to make the urgent care area easier to navigate.

The hospital district’s employee committee will be working to raise money for a remodeled space for the coffee shop in the Samaritan Clinic lobby. The goal is $40,000. The board approved spending that amount, with the stipulation that the funding is not guaranteed.

The budget also includes $366,925 to remodel the obstetrics unit, called the mother-baby unit. Ishizuka said the goal is to make the area “more patient-centric, patient friendly in appearance” for expectant mothers, babies and their families.

A $336,538 addition to the security system is included. The upgraded security system would allow hospital officials to remotely lock down the hospital, both exterior doors and interior doors by component units.

Cheryl Schweizer can be reached via email at education@columbiabasinherald.com.

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