CROSSVILLE – Cumberland Medical Center (CMC) is upgrading its “significantly outdated” emergency department, and the $6.3 million project is expected to break ground in early October.
Hospital officials will hold a celebratory groundbreaking ceremony starting at 11:30 a.m. Friday, Oct. 9, to commemorate the start of construction. The project is slated to be complete by the end of 2016 or early 2017.
CMC’s emergency department is “significantly outdated and no longer meets all modern hospital standards, medical staff requirements and evolving community expectations,” hospital officials have said, and the upgrades would create a “new, modern” ED on the ground floor of the hospital that’s currently occupied by CMC’s outpatient rehab unit.
The new space will increase CMC’s ED by 6,329 square feet, will include a new main entrance canopy, new ambulance canopy and allow for a total of 25 new patient exam/care stations, among other improvements. The old ED has 17 exam/care stations as well as three curtained stretcher bays and four hallway stretchers for overflow.
The UCBJ first announced 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.
CMC’s emergency department was also ID’d as the hospital’s top priority in a 2014 study by national health care consulting firm Dixon Hughes Goodman. More recently, ED volumes at CMC have exceeded 35,000 annual visits, or nearly 100 patients a day. The new ED will be able to handle up to 40,000 visits annually, if needed.
“Everybody’s very excited for this to begin,” said Debi Davis, spokeswoman for Cumberland Medical Center. “Our ER was actually built for 16,000 visits, and they’re seeing around 36,000, so it’s time for a new ER.”
The present emergency room will remain fully operational until the project is complete. Once the old ER is vacated, it will be used “to address other needs of the hospital over time,” officials said. That could include the hospital’s outpatient rehab center, cardiac rehab services, Sleep Center, Respiratory Therapy, physician office space or others.
Pre-preparations, such as the relocation of the hospital’s outpatient rehab unit, will begin later this month.
The event groundbreaking event is by invitation only; more than 100 are expected to attend, including Covenant/CMC executive leadership, physicians, hospital staff and government leaders