The number of available beds has more than doubled in Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Alliance's emergency department.
That's because more people and more elderly patients are expected to use the hospital and more are expected to move into the hospital's service area during the next 10 years. The hospital is striving to maintain pace with that growth.
The $25 million expansion of emergency services includes the addition of 29 beds, four trauma rooms, a new waiting area and increased staffing. The hospital has also added a patient isolation room and was designated a Level IV trauma center in April. The expansion was completed June 18, a hospital official said.
"As the population grows and ages, the expansion will address several needs," said Aaron Bujnowski, Texas Health Resources senior vice president. "Added capacity will cover the increased demand during flu season and reduce wait times for patients. The expansion allows more people to receive the care they need close to their homes."
That means that fewer people will need to be transferred to another hospital, such as one in downtown Fort Worth, Bujnowski said.
The number of trauma patients seeking treatment at Texas Health Alliance has already increased, with an average of more than 57 a month so far this year, up from 48 a month in 2017.
Those numbers are expected to continue to increase. The population in the hospital's service area is expected to increase by 45 percent by 2027 while the number of people 65 and older is projected to grow by 120 percent during the same period, according to hospital figures.
“We are growing to meet the needs of the north Fort Worth community," said Clint Abernathy, Texas Health Alliance president.
The hospital has also reconfigured space in the emergency department that will allow for better patient flow, according to Doris Price, director of nursing and critical care.
The isolation room will allow the hospital to treat patients with certain contagious diseases without exposing staff and other patients.
“We’re able to put anyone who needs to be in isolation into a room without having to worry about him or her coming into contact with other patients or having to close down the ED,” Price said.
Alliance Hospital growth
From 2017 to 2027, the population in the service area is projected to grow by 45 percent:
From 2017 to 2027, the population of individuals 65+ in the service area is projected to grow by 120 percent:
Source: Texas Health Resources