Trinity Rock Island plans $61 million expansion

Trinity Hospital in Rock Island announced the largest construction project in the hospital’s 40-year history Thursday. The plan includes a 90,000 square-foot, three-story expansion of the Heart Center and Emergency Department that will cost $61.3 million.

Doctors and nurses in Trinity’s Emergency Department said it’s news they’ve been waiting years for. Their biggest need is space.

“They took over hallways, down this hallway is some rooms, that kind of thing. It’s not really designed as a big emergency department for this volume of patients that we’re seeing,” said Dr. Kevin Kurth, Director of Emergency Medicine.

That volume of patients jumped 7 percent in 2011, and it’s expected to grow another 8 percent by next year. When things get crowded, even hallways are used as treatment centers.

“People don’t like being in a room with another person, being exposed to them, all their medical conditions, and knowing about it, hearing about it,” said Kurth.

That’s why the new space will feature more single rooms and more efficiency, like a CT scanner and an X-Ray machine right in the department.The plan also includes a dedicated trauma room, a specially-secured front triage area for patients who pose a safety concern, and a new Crisis Stabilization Unit for patients who require behavioral health services in a secure environment.

Because much of what the Emergency Department treats is cardiac, the Heart Center needs a boost as well.

“As we use more equipment, many times our staff has to jump over cables to get to the equipment. We are very cramped, so we need a bigger facility for the volume and complexities of the procedure,” said cardiologist Dr. Sanjeev Puri.

The expansion will nearly double the number of cardiac treatment beds and rehab stations and add a catheterization lab. The Heart Center will include a floor dedicated to follow-up education for heart patients, and will coordinate the stages of heart treatment under one roof. It’s an improvement many hospital staff have waited years for.

“Our outcomes are excellent, but our facilities are really not up to speed,” said Puri.

“We need a facility that’s worthy of the care they provide on a day-in and day-out basis,” said Trinity President and CEO Rick Seidler.

The project is being funded by internal reserves and borrowing through Trinity’s parent company, Iowa Health System.

The whole plan is pending approval from the State of Illinois. If all goes as planned, Trinity will break ground in June and hopes to finish construction by Summer 2015.

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