Courtesy of the Times MERRILLVILLE | In less than a year, the emergency department at Methodist Hospitals Southlake Campus in Merrillville will have more rooms, more high-tech equipment and a more efficient layout.
Hospital officials sunk shovels into piles of dirt during a ceremonial groundbreaking Tuesday at the site of the new emergency department at the hospital, 8701 Broadway.
Methodist Hospitals President and CEO Ian McFadden said construction is expected to begin in April and finish at the end of the year or early 2013.
"The ER has been anticipated for some time," he said.
The department will incorporate a host of system and space improvements.
The new department will have 23 patient rooms. Right now, there are 13. Those rooms will be bigger and will not be divided by curtains, as they are now, McFadden said.
The department will have an expanded "fast track" area, with twice as many rooms. That will allow patients with minor injuries to spend less time in the waiting room and more time with a physician.
Patients also will receive lab and X-ray results more quickly, as related departments, such as radiology, will be right next door under the new layout, McFadden said.
The hospital has done the best it could to process patients under the current layout, but with 40,000 ER visits a year, it was time to expand, he said.
The department will have state-of-the-art equipment.
"Everything will be brand new," he said.
During construction, the hospital will continue to treat emergency patients on-site in a temporary area.
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