The orthopedic floor will have a low-key grand opening Oct. 17 for CMC employees and other invited guests, with the floor opening for patients Oct. 21. Additional renovations, which include three trauma rooms, psychiatric rooms for mental health patients and a new ambulance bay are now in use.
“It’s much easier for them to get in,” CMC Chief Operating Officer Lori Rakes said about the new ambulance bay. “Multiple practitioners, whether it’s [emergency medical services] or law enforcement, or any type of response on the emergency side, it’s just much more efficient and easier to get in.”
Once the new floor is open, orthopedic patients will enjoy brand-new furniture and fixtures Rakes said were designed with the patients in mind. Each room has a sofa that can fold into a bed for guests. Rake said that particular piece of furniture would be popular not just with families, but CMC employees as well.
“We hosted a flu shot clinic up here on this unit last week and all the employees [had] an opportunity to come through here and see it and they just love it. Absolutely love it. You know what the number one thing they like the most? The sofas, and I’ll tell you why. Because the chairs that you typically see in hospital rooms, they get moved a lot, they’re heavy, they’ll mar the floor. The sofas meet all the families’ needs and they don’t need to be moved or anything,” she said.
The orthopedic floor will serve as a template for future renovations on other floors, Rakes added. To improve traffic flow through the hallways, nooks and alcoves are cut into the walls for computer stations and charging spots to keep personnel and equipment out of the way. A rehabilitation room is on the floor as well so patients do not need to travel far for therapy, and it is another way to cut down on traffic between floors. The nurse’s station is larger, as it has the capacity to handle more than orthopedic cases, and it is open to both major hallways.
“So it’s kind of a racetrack mentality,” Rakes said. “You’ve got your nurse’s station here in the center and then bring it [out] so they can get all the way around.”
A major outcome of all the construction is important for both patients and CMC staff: privacy.
“Really, the big piece of this project that it allowed us to do, in addition to specializing, is now we are completely privatized. All our rooms will be private now. In the past we had 18 beds on our second and third floors that were private rooms where patients had to share,” Rakes said.
When CMC broke ground on the project nearly one year ago, CEO Keith Sandlin spoke about the large investment being made and how it would benefit patients.
“In addition to allowing our 150 medical staff members, our physicians and our 700 employees to more efficiently take care of our patients in a more comfortable setting, this is also a significant economic impact to our hospital. A $26 million capital investment to the hospital and the community, creating jobs locally and also increasing our property tax base in the community,” Sandlin said. “But, most importantly, the project is for and about our patients. Our patients at Cartersville Medical Center are our friends, our neighbors, our family members — we see them in the community every day and it gives us a great source of pride to be able to take care of those individuals. Our vision and commitment have always been to meet the needs of our community because we know that if we meet the needs of the community, it will be reciprocated, our medical community will be successful and continue to flourish.”
Phase one of the construction will be complete once the orthopedic floor opens. The second phase will continue until February as existing parts of the emergency department are undergoing renovation. Until the new main entrance is opened, patients and visitors will still be funneled through the new emergency room entrance at the front of the building.
Rakes said CMC’s parent company, HCA Healthcare, is as enthusiastic about the renovations as the hospital’s staff.
“Very excited. They’ve been very involved from the very beginning. You don’t see this type of involvement or investment in this large of a project unless they feel very, very optimistic about the growth and the quality of services being provided. So we’re thrilled, absolutely thrilled,” she said.