Moultrie Observer

Local News

February 18, 2014

Hospital continues to function as its expansion progresses

MOULTRIE — If you have driven by Colquitt Regional Medical Center, you may have felt a little intimidated to access healthcare with all the fences, blocked entrances and non-medical equipment such as a crane or forklift.   Besides exceeding quality measures and focusing on patient satisfaction, construction is what is happening at Colquitt Regional Medical Center these days.  

Last year, general contractors Brasfield & Gorrie made this lot their temporary home while concentrating on the renovating and expansion plans for multiple areas of the hospital, including an Emergency Department, an Intensive Care Unit, a Surgical Suite, a new patient lobby and additional parking areas.   According to President and CEO Jim Matney, “One of the key issues we committed to in the beginning was to keep business as usual during the construction.  We have mapped out a plan that allows the construction to be done in phases to accommodate our day-to-day routines with providing care to patients.”

In an interview with Brasfield & Gorrie’s Senior Project Manager Robert Ward, he noted construction phases have been timely with the completion of additional parking, underground work, the foundations and concrete structures.  Ward also stated the steel framing is about 90 percent complete at this point and the front parking lot will be reopened within a few days.  “Next week, we will begin the final stage of the pipe work and to do this we’ll need to re-route patients to a temporary covered walk-way and patient drop-off to access the main entrance of the hospital,” he said.  “Our first milestone will be the completed renovation and expansion of the Emergency Department which is set for this June.”

The new and improved Emergency Department won’t be completed until June; however the day-to-day emergency care services have not stopped.  Ward said throughout phases, the hospital has made concerted efforts in keeping the patient top of mind by building a temporary emergency drive with a patient drop off area, relocating the Emergency Department waiting area and triage space as well as shifted employee parking so patient parking would be closer to access points of entry for emergencies.

Though a temporary drive, Emergency Services at Colquitt Regional Medical Center are accessible by car from 31st Avenue and via ambulance in the case of urgent assistance.  Staffed 24 hours, seven days a week with physicians and clinical staff for emergency care services for children and adults.  Emergency medicine physicians on staff include Tina Flanagan M.D., Adam Jones M.D., Dale McGregor D.O., Robert Sasine M.D., and Michael Thayer, M.D.

“If you feel that coming to our hospital right now will be a frustrating maze, be assured we have clearly marked entrances and have tried to make the access to your hospital as simple as possible despite the construction going on around us,” said Matney.  “If anyone finds routes difficult to the Emergency Department or to patient registration for diagnostic testing or other services, please call me and bring it to my attention.”

Matney’s concern for clearer directions to patient’s access point into the hospital comes on the heels of less traffic entering the emergency department.  Matney said Colquitt Regional Medical Center typically sees approximately 2400 patients each month in the Emergency Department however latest figures shows the traffic has decreased by 400.  With no explanation of why the visits are seemingly less, the feeling is that the massive construction may be the deterrent.  Matney claims an ease in finding patient access to Colquitt Regional Medical Center and doesn’t want patients to feel they must drive out of town for health care.

If uncertain on how to enter the hospital for Emergency Services, please call the main switchboard operator for assistance at (229) 985-3420.

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