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BCH expansion to be finished this month
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BCH expansion to be finished this month

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Beatrice Community Hospital will be putting its new addition into service later this month, nearly a year to the day since the project was announced last February.

The $7.2 million expansion to the four-year-old hospital was prompted by space issues in some departments.

The Women and Children’s Clinic and the Infusion Center, both currently on the second floor of the hospital north of town, will be two areas that greatly benefit from the expansion, according to Eric Trusty, practice administrator for the Women and Children’s Clinic and the Physician Clinic.

“Right now, they’re on top of each other and there’s not a lot of room,” he said. “To be able to not share offices and actually have an adequate number of exam rooms, everybody’s definitely ready to go.”

The final touches are currently being made to the 17,500-square-foot building.

The addition will relocate the Women and Children’s Clinic and the Infusion Center to the expansion’s first floor.

The Health Information Management Department will be relocated, and the Physician Clinic on the second floor will be renovated.

Trusty said the Women and Children Clinic is looking at relocating the weekend of Feb. 26, and would see its first patients in the new expansion Monday, Feb. 29.

The Medical Records Department would move that same weekend, though the Infusion Center will remain as-is until the end of April, as crews finish the hallway connecting the expansion to the main hospital.

The hallway will run through the current location of the Medical Records Department.

“Once the Women and Children’s Clinic moves in, we don’t have access directly into the hospital until that corridor is completed, but we can still function as a clinic,” Trusty said. “If a nurse needs to go to the pharmacy, lab or whatever that may be, they’ll physically have to go outside and into the hospital that way. That will just be for a short amount of time.”

Trusty said the final completion date of late April is in sync with the projected 15-month completion time when the project was announced, thanks to work by Caspers Construction and Sampson Construction.

“They’ve been keeping on schedule,” Trusty said. “We’re very close to our original date of when we anticipated moving in. The contractors have been doing an excellent job of keeping on schedule, even with the weather we’ve had. They were able to get the majority of the exterior work done before the cold weather hit.”

Trusty previously said the Infusion Center has grown 27 percent, the Women and Children’s Clinic has experienced a 33 percent growth and the Pediatrics Department has seen an increase of 128 percent.

The current 12 exam rooms, utilized by eight medical providers, will be doubled to 24 exam rooms with the expansion.

“Right now all the staff is preparing for the move and what types of supplies and equipment we may need in the new addition,” Trusty said. “When you double the number of exam rooms, obviously that will increase the amount of supplies you need. We’re working on making sure we’re ready to move in on that day and start seeing patients.”

The new building will also have its own entrance, with nearby parking and curbside access. A total of 86 patient parking stalls will be added, in addition to 29 additional employee parking stalls.

Another renovation prompted by patient feedback will be a check-in area with more privacy, accomplished by longer walls separating the stations.

“We’re excited to get moved into the expansion project,” Trusty said. “It’s one thing that we really looked at to improve that patient experience and provide better care, not only for the patients, but nursing staff. It gives us a little bit more room with the exceptional amount of growth that we’ve had, especially in the pediatric clinic, to better serve our patients.”

The primary Beatrice Community Hospital building is 144,000 square feet. Officials broke ground on the building in October 2009, and the hospital was put into service in February 2012.

It was constructed at a cost of $45 million.

Reach Scott Koperski at scott.koperski@beatricedailysun.com. Follow him on Twitter @ScottKoperski.

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