Los Robles Medical Center Begins ICU Expansion to Alleviate Patient Diversions
To alleviate the problem of diverting patients because of a lack of critical care beds, construction has begun on an addition to the Los Robles Regional Medical Center's intensive care unit, the Ventura County Star reports. The $5.3 million addition will bring the total number of beds in the ICU to 30. Currently, 10 beds are designated for general ICU patients and 10 are for heart patients. When the addition is complete, the hospital "will be flexible in the designations of the new beds," the Star reports. According to the Star, the hospital's capacity has been "an ongoing issue" since nearby Westlake Medical Center closed in 1996. The ICU project is part of a "three-phase master hospital expansion plan," which includes construction of a new hospital wing and the recently completed 12,000 square foot expansion of the emergency room. Michael Glasberg, the hospital's associate administrator, said that patients will not be disturbed by construction on the ICU, set to be completed in April 2002 (Smith, Ventura County Star, 8/13).
Community Medical Center-Fresno on Aug. 6 opened a 4,500 square foot facility, hoping to "alleviate the overcrowding in its emergency department," the Fresno Bee reports. The structure, called the QuickER, sits across the street from the existing emergency room and will offer aid for "less critical patients" like those with broken fingers or ear infections. Joe Patty, director of medical-surgical and emergency services at the hospital, said the new facility is the hospital's response to a 13% rise in emergency room patients, far above the national average of 9%. The facility has 10 treatment rooms, including two pediatric rooms, as well as X-ray and laboratory services. According to the Bee, the QuickER is temporary because the hospital's $250 million expansion project will construct a larger emergency department (Correa, Fresno Bee, 8/12).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.