MONROE (WIFR) -- To meet an increase in patient days, Monroe Clinic has announced they will increase their capacity from 50 to 58 private patient rooms.
"We are often seeing patient levels reach their peak each week," said Paula Elmer, RN, MSN, Monroe Clinic’s Vice President Clinical Operations & Chief Nursing Officer. "While our hospital staff has worked to accommodate our patients and ensure they are getting the care they need, we recognize the need to add more rooms to provide efficient delivery of care."
Since opening of the new hospital in March, Monroe Clinic has experienced an 8 percent increase in patient days.
"The fact that more patients are choosing Monroe Clinic reaffirms our commitment to building and opening a new hospital. It tells us that our communities value an environment conducive to comfort, healing and recovery," said Elmer.
The cost to construct and equip the new rooms is approximately $1 million, which is supported through funds remaining in the hospital construction budget and the routine capital budget. Previous partners, Kahler Slater and C.G. Schmidt, will also oversee the inpatient expansion project.
Monroe Clinic planned for future growth by including 19,000 feet of "shelled space" in the hospital's design. Approximately 2,000 of those square feet were slated for potential growth on the inpatient unit. This space will become eight additional rooms.
"The location of these rooms is such that they will fit seamlessly into the inpatient floor, which was a consideration from day one," said Steve Borowski, Monroe Clinic’s Director of Facility Services.
"We will use the same design as the existing rooms. They will be identical, with views of nature, same-handed layout and other environmentally friendly, patient-safety features."
Borowski emphasized the construction should have very little or no impact on the current patient experience. A temporary wall will separate the project from current patient care space. The HVAC and electrical work is already in place, so much of the work will result in minimal disruption to ongoing patient care.
While the demand for these rooms comes soon on the heels of the hospital's opening, the clinic is ready to move swiftly to answer the need. While the decision was just recently made to add the rooms, plans are well underway, with the actual construction slated to run from December to February.
While the inpatient expansion project is in its beginning stages, Elmer said Monroe Clinic is already actively recruiting and scheduling staff to meet current inpatient levels.
"The recruitment and retention of providers, nurses and support staff is something we are always monitoring," said Elmer. "As beautiful as this facility is, we understand that it's the patient-caregiver connection that breathes life into these walls."
Monroe Clinic is a not-for-profit, single hospital health system serving communities in southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois. For more information, please visit monroeclinic.org.