HOSPITAL EMERGENCY ROOM GETS FACELIFT

May 19, 2001 12:00 am
HOSPITAL CONSTRUCTION:Ray Thurman of Advanced Fireproofing, Spokane, sprays fireproofing in the new ER and admitting area at Grande Ronde Hospital (The Observer/PHIL BULLOCK).
HOSPITAL CONSTRUCTION:Ray Thurman of Advanced Fireproofing, Spokane, sprays fireproofing in the new ER and admitting area at Grande Ronde Hospital (The Observer/PHIL BULLOCK).

By The Observer

The parking attendant outside the main entrance at Grande Ronde Hospital may have the toughest job in town. Hes the person who tells hospital visitors that theres no room in the parking lot.

Lack of parking is one of the inconveniences that hospital personnel and guests are tolerating during construction of a new and much larger emergency room.

Steve Spencer, director of hospital facilities, said the emergency room should be finished by November. After that, remodeling of the admittance area will begin. The entire construction project is expected to be wrapped up by next May.

The new, 6,000-square-foot emergency room will be more than twice as large as the existing ER. The cost of construction and renovation is expected to be about $3.5 million.

Rooms will be larger to accommodate the sophisticated equipment in use today, and the areas where patients are admitted will be more private than the existing floor plan allows, Spencer said.

Hospital President James Mattes said the privacy for patients in the admitting area has been an issue for some time.

It (lack of privacy) was cited as a deficiency by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations when it surveyed the hospital recently.

As the hospital enlarges its emergency room, officials are beginning to study ways to improve parking. Mattes said a study of parking may begin as early as this summer.

Parking is a constant concern, said hospital spokeswoman Kathy Weber.

Mattes said the hospital will not purchase additional property but will reconfigure the existing lots to allow for more

parking.