Carle Hospital Seeks Expansion of Emergency Department

Story by Sean Powers

Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana wants to add 14,000 square feet to its emergency department within two years.

A request is now pending before state officials to add that space, which would include 17 acute care beds and new imaging equipment. 
Physician Mike Swindle chairs emergency medicine at Carle, and he said he cannot conceive of the state not allowing the work to proceed.

"No one anywhere in America who knows anything about emergency medicine is predicting that all of a sudden, there's going to be 50-percent fewer ED visits," he said. "Everybody predicts 2-to-3 percent growth per year for umpteen years because we have 10,000 baby boomers a day every day for the next 19 years retiring, and hitting age 65. That's 70-million people in the next 19 years turning 65. And there has to be someplace for them to go." 

Swidle said patient growth has gone up 2-to-3 percent each year in the past 20 years. He said that means some patients have gone through extended waits, and Carle has accommodated some patients with hallway beds. 

"We have enough physicians and nurses on board to take care of those patients," Swindle said.  "And so, we've just expanded into the spaces we've needed until we get more physical space."

Emergency staff expects to see 70,000 patients this year alone.

Swindle said construction crews are ready to start work in October, when Illinois’ Health Facilities and Services Review Board is scheduled to rule on the case.

Story source: WILL