Sharp Grossmont Hospital Begins Construction on New Emergency Department, Critical Care Center
To handle the "crush of patients" arriving at Sharp Grossmont Hospital's emergency room since Scripps Memorial Hospital-East County closed 18 months ago, the hospital has begun building a new emergency room and a critical care center, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. The current emergency room, opened in 1977, is meant to handle about 30,000 patients per year but has been seeing about 70,000 patients per year since Scripps Memorial closed in June 2000. About 40% of the time, the emergency room is on bypass, diverting most ambulances to other hospitals, Grossmont CEO Michele Tarbet said. The new emergency department will have 43 beds, compared with 27 in the old department, and there will be 24 critical care beds in the new center, compared with 13 current spaces for patients requiring special medical procedures. Tarbet said that the additional critical care beds will "free space to treat" more people in the emergency room. The new, $40 million emergency department and critical care center are expected to open in April 2003, at which time only two floors of the planned five-story building will be completed. Sharp Healthcare, which operates the hospital under a lease with Grossmont Healthcare District, is contributing about $33 million to build the emergency room and critical care center; community and district donations make up about $7 million of the cost. The three remaining floors will not be completed until the hospital raises another $20 million (Krueger, San Diego Union-Tribune, 12/14).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.