Hospital wants bigger facility


With the county's population growing and hospital admissions rising, Carroll County General Hospital is embarking on a $35 million expansion that will create a new emergency department, add 30 beds and improve outpatient services and parking.

Plans for the project were submitted in a certificate of need filed with Maryland Healthcare Commission late last month.

If approved, building would begin in January.

The expansion would be paid for with a combination of hospital reserves and bonds secured through the county, said David Horn, vice president of marketing and business development for the hospital.

"We don't intend to increase hospital rates with new construction," he said.

The expansion to the 166-bed hospital, expected to be completed by 2005, would include:

A 25,000-square-foot emergency department to be constructed on the south side of the hospital. It would include 43 treatment rooms and be double the size of the existing emergency department.

Renovation of the former emergency room into an outpatient services area to increase physical therapy and occupational therapy programs. The hospital would like to add a pain management program, a wound care center and a pulmonary rehabilitation program.

Four new floors on the south wing - each about 12,000 square feet. Three of the four floors would contain 30 beds in primarily private rooms.

Creation of a medical office building for physicians, scheduled to begin construction by the end of next year, to accommodate new hospital staff.

The addition of 350 parking spaces.

As Carroll County's population has increased, so have hospital admissions, Horn said.

Projected admissions for this year are expected to be 11,736, compared with 10,764 last year.

Visits to the emergency room increased by 29 percent during the past three years, from 30,231 in 1998 to a projected 39,000 this year.

Next month, the hospital is expected to complete an expansion to its birthing center, which would add five labor, delivery, recovery and postpartum suites to its 15 suites.

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