CROSSVILLE – Cumberland Medical Center’s $6.3 million emergency department expansion is on target, and officials expect the project to be completed this fall.
The project will create more than 17,000 square feet of new space, including 25 new private patient exam rooms equipped with heart-monitoring capabilities. Some rooms will be designated for specialized treatment such as trauma care, cardiac care, and ear, nose and throat care.
Since CMC joined Covenant Health in 2014, officials have been implementing a facility-wide master plan, which included the ED. Although there renovations have been done over the years, the current emergency department is more than 40 years old.
The UCBJ first wrote in June that CMC was planning the ED work as the hospital sought a certificate of need from the Tennessee Health Services and Development Agency. Previous timelines had the project wrapping up in late 2016 or early 2017.
“That is one reason why the emergency department expansion is a high priority for us,” said Jeremy Biggs, president and CAO, Cumberland Medical Center. “It cares for about 34,000 patients each year. With this volume and the advances in technology, additional space is essential.”
Sandy Caples, CMC emergency department manager, and her team visited other Covenant Health emergency departments as a part of the project’s planning. She says this helped further identify ways the new department can streamline efficiencies for patient care.
“This was a great benefit,” Caples said. “Our involvement didn’t stop there. We also continue to be included in choices. For example, we were able select where various outlets for our equipment will be placed along the wall to maximize patient care and comfort.”
The current emergency department continues to treat patients during the construction process. The main emergency entry remains in use and can be accessed via a new covered ramp while work is underway. Parking is available across the street at the nearest corners of Cumberland Medical Plaza.
When complete, the exterior of the department will have new canopies and a covered walkway. Ambulances will have two bays as well as an area dedicated to store equipment and complete dictation.
At a groundbreaking event in October, Tony Spezia, president and chief executive officer of Covenant Health, said they’ve invested more than a billion dollars in hospitals, services and technology to benefit patients throughout East and Middle Tennessee.
“That’s more than any other healthcare system in our region,” he said. “We have made that investment so that we can provide convenient local access to care, as well as excellent medical quality and patient satisfaction. That is a hallmark of our strategic partnerships.”