Kaiser Permanente Doubles Telemetry Capacity, Plans New Med-Surg Unit at Fresno Hospital
Kaiser Permanente's Fresno hospital recently added 24 telemetry beds -- doubling its telemetry capacity -- as part of a $4 million remodel of its fourth floor, the Fresno Bee reports. The expansion comes as hospitals in the area and throughout the United States struggle with overcrowding and a "chronic bed shortage" that has increased wait times in emergency departments, according to the Bee. Sharon Griswold, a registered nurse and manager of the Fresno telemetry units, said the hospital will have "no trouble" filling the new beds, adding, "[h]opefully, this will help decompress the whole emergency department." The hospital has also started construction on a 24-bed medical surgical unit expected to open next year (Correa, Fresno Bee, 4/1).
In related news, a report by San Francisco-based Turnstone Consulting has determined that Kaiser Permanente's planned 224-bed Modesto Medical Center and 49-acre medical campus would create "significant traffic problems" and "unacceptable levels" of congestion at certain intersections and highway ramps, the Modesto Bee reports. Kaiser plans to begin construction on the hospital in late summer, with completion slated for 2008. But Steve Mitchell, project planner for the city, said Kaiser has agreed to perform "a significant chunk of road work" to ease expected traffic problems. Mike Hrast, director of the project, said, "We are aware of the mitigations called for in the [report]. We are very much committed to addressing the impacts." The report also found that Kaiser's hospital and other developments in the area will result in an overdraft of the groundwater supply by 2025. In addition, the report said that except in emergencies, ambulances will have to travel with sirens off while approaching the hospital on some roads from the south because of noise concerns. The report is the subject of a 45-day public comment period, and Kaiser Permanente must obtain approval from the city before construction begins (Carlson, Modesto Bee, 4/1).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.