Tuesday marked the groundbreaking ceremony for Schuyler Hospital, a member of Cayuga Health System, which kicked off the construction of a new 15,000 square foot state-of-the-art Medical Surgical inpatient unit.
Phase one of the two-part development is to be completed by July 2020. The project is being made possible by a $10.3 Million New York State Statewide Health Care Facility Program Grant that was awarded in July of 2017.
The expansion unit will include 12 large single rooms and 4 semi-private beds as well as improved monitoring. According to a press release, it will allow nurses to check each patient's status from a central station and respond quickly to alerts signaling a change in a patients condition. With the new design, patients will be ensconced in a pleasant, healing environment with an open central space to allow unobstructed views to the private patient's rooms. John Rudd, president and CEO of Cayuga Health System, said in the press release that the new facility is a benefit for the community.
“The improvements will provide better health care in our community and will allow our hospital’s staff to give more effective and efficient care to each patient,” said Rudd. “In addition, the growth and expansion at Schuyler Hospital benefit the entire Cayuga Health System, as we continually expand our health care role throughout the region.”
Phase two of the development will include the entire renovation of the current Medical-Surgical unit into a 9,185 square foot Primary Care Center. The new care center will be telehealth enabled and will off improved care coordination. Along with this, the new move will enhance patient care by placing the Primary Care Center to the front of the building, adjacent to the Specialty Clinic. Jim Watson, president and CEO of Schuyler Hospital, views this as a great means of improving interdisciplinary coordination for treatment.
“Having Primary Care in our main building will also be a great convenience to our patients,” Watson said. “When patients see their physicians and get an order for blood work or x-rays, they only have to walk a few steps to get the tests done that day in the same building.”
The new facility will add more examination rooms to the Primary Care Clinic to improve patient scheduling, allowing patients to see their physicians quicker. The clinic will also have a room dedicated purely to behavioral health visits using enhanced technology to provide rapid laboratory tests. According to Watson, these tests can deliver diagnostic results for the flu and strep throat infection in less than 15 minutes.
“We’ll also have a secure, high-speed digital link for telemedicine that advances local patient care,” say]ids Watson. “When patients come to the Primary Care Clinic with complex health needs, the telemedicine link will allow our patients and their physicians to have a real-time consultation with a specialist at other locations across the system to develop a treatment plan.”
Knowing the expansion was coming soon, work began in November 2018 to create newly expanded parking lots to support the transforming project. The grant which is supporting the work done in phase one was the largest of six grants, totaling $40 million awarded to Southern Tier hospitals and health-care programs.
Prior to this, a $6.5 million renovation, funded by a state grant in 2014, improved the hospital’s clinical laboratory, radiology unit, operating rooms, out-patient registration area, and gift shop, as well as its main entrance and hallway. Matthew Rouff, administrator of outpatient and support services at Schuyler Hospital and the project’s manager, sees this as a means of improving patients needs for not just the present but well into the future.
Schuyler Hospital has been looking to grow for some time now, with the growth of specialty health services being a sign of the needed change. In 2014, the hospital’s two specialist in orthopedics and general surgery had 1,500 patient visits. Toward the end of 2018, nine specialists were at the hospital to handle approximately 5,000 patient visits. The hospital has a range of specialty care including oncology, cardiology, neurosurgery, gynecology, sleep/pulmonology, orthopedics, general surgery, wound care, and ear, nose and throat care.