The communities served by Tobey Hospital need an Emergency Department (ED) that meets the high standards upheld by the hospital and Southcoast Health. Full-time and seasonal residents already receive outstanding care and service from Tobey, but they need to know that in an emergency, the hospital’s highly qualified emergency doctors and medical staff will treat them in the finest facilities and with the latest technology.
The existing ED has become outdated and inadequate. It was built to accommodate 15,000 patients annually; last year, the ED treated nearly 32,000 patients. At these levels, overcrowding and congestion occur and our clinicians are forced to treat patients in shared spaces, including hallways and other public areas. Industry benchmarking has determined that hospitals should have one bed for every 1,500 emergency room visits. With approximately 32,000 visits annually, Tobey’s ED should have at least 23 dedicated beds to accommodate its current patient volume. With only 10 beds and 5 hallway beds, the existing ED falls below industry standards and cannot keep pace with increasing patient volume.
For our patients, the effects of overcrowding can lead to longer wait times and can interfere with privacy and the delivery of patient-centered care. In order to maintain the highest standards of care, Southcoast has committed $25 million to renovating and expanding Tobey’s ED. The new space will be designed to deliver efficient, personalized, high-quality care; improve patient satisfaction; and accommodate increasing patient volume and highly-acute patients.
Plans to renovate and expand the ED include:
- An additional 17,500 sq. ft. of space for a total of 25,000 sq. ft., more than triple the size of the current ED.
- Approximately 30 treatment rooms including dedicated rooms for bariatric patients, behavioral health patients and patients in need of advanced life saving and isolation/ decontamination.
- Increased capacity to accommodate the growing needs of the community.
- Larger, private rooms with access to the latest treatment technologies at the bedside.
- Enhanced areas for greater patient comfort, safety, privacy and infection control.
- Improved workspaces for staff and sight lines from a centralized nursing station.
- Improved triage and hospital throughput, resulting in less waiting time for everyone needing care.
Because you cannot take a busy ED off-line for construction, the Tobey project will be completed in three stages. The first stage will be the site work, which began in the Fall 2019 after the ceremonial groundbreaking in October 2019. Stage two will be a build-out of the new ED, with operations occurring as normal in the current ED space. The final stage will see ED operations moved into the new space and renovations done to the old ED. The completed Tobey Emergency Department will be open in late 2021.
Close to $2 million has already been raised in support of the project. With your help, we will raise the remaining funds needed to make this important project a reality for everyone who receives care at Tobey Hospital.