The short stay area had been slated to open two months ago, but a ruptured fire suppression line in the new emergency department sent more than 12,000 gallons of water into the hospital’s expansion. The break happened on a Thursday night, just before the hospital had planned to hold a Saturday open house for the new units.
“Opening this atrium is a crucial step toward realizing the new level of care and comfort this expansion makes available,” said Tanner Health System President/CEO Loy Howard. “We’re proud that this part of the expansion has rebounded so quickly from the damage caused by the ruptured water line a few months ago.”
Howard said the emergency department was the site of the break and experienced more damage than the outpatient surgery atrium. Water also damaged registration offices located below the emergency department. Crews are continuing to replace flooring, Sheetrock, doors and more items in the emergency department which Tanner expects to open early next year.”
“We’re grateful for the staff and crews who have been so diligent in making sure we could open the short stay atrium,” Howard said. “It’s fortunate that this disruption did not impair our ability to provide patient care, and we appreciate the understanding and support of our patients and visitors.”
Parts of the expansion not significantly damaged by the flooding, including the Lamplighter gift shop and Bistro ‘49 upscale cafe, have been open for about a month.
Registration will now be available at both the Dixie Street and short stay atrium entrances. Patients scheduled for cardiac procedures at Tanner Heart and Vascular Center, will probably still find it more convenient to use the Dixie Street entrance. Surgical patients may be better served at the new outpatient atrium, but registration will be available at both entrances.
Cost of the hospital expansion was $61 million. The new 10,000-square-foot, 40-bed emergency department will have new spacious trauma rooms, a new “fast track” approach to minor medical emergencies, two atriums, a freshwater fish aquarium and turtle habitat. It will have on-unit diagnostic equipment so patients will not have to leave the emergency area for X-ray, ultrasound and CT scans.
Dr. Tom Fitzgerald, medical director of the emergency department, helped design the new unit to best serve area patients. It is the first renovation of the emergency department since the mid-1980s.