Seventeen patients at Taylorville Memorial Hospital had an early-morning excursion Wednesday when staff transported them from the old hospital building to the acute-care unit on the second floor of the new hospital building for its first day of operation.
Starting the transfer at 6 a.m., patients were ushered into the 80,000-square-foot building, marking the completion of the first phase of a two-phase construction project at the nonprofit hospital on East Pleasant Street. The process took less than an hour, with the last patient arriving in their room at 6:52 a.m.
“In less than one hour, we safely transported every inpatient to the new facility. On average, one patient was moved every three to four minutes,” Eli Heicher, chief nursing officer for Taylorville Memorial Hospital, said. “This is an incredible logistical feat that required months of planning and marks a major milestone in our history.”
The new building features 25 private rooms and provides more convenient access to outpatient services, such as rehabilitation, outpatient infusion, respiratory therapy and laboratory testing.
The second phase of the project will begin immediately and is expected to be complete by March 2021. The second phase includes a new hospital kitchen, cafeteria, administrative offices and conference rooms.
“We have been looking forward to opening the doors to this building for years,” Kim Bourne, president and CEO of the nonprofit hospital, said. “We have been preparing for this move for the last six months, and I am grateful to our amazing colleagues who spent countless hours to make this a successful transition.”
To visit the laboratory, outpatient rehabilitation, respiratory therapy, outpatient infusion, specialty clinic, Senior Life Solutions and acute care services, patients and visitors should use the new south entrance, Bourne said. For surgery and radiology services, patients should use the main lobby entrance.
Attendants and volunteers will be at each entrance to assist visitors to their destinations. The emergency department entrance will remain open around the clock.
Taylorville Memorial Hospital is a 25-bed critical access hospital and is an affiliate of Memorial Health System. For more information, visit TaylorvilleMemorial.org.