MUSCATINE, Iowa–UnityPoint Trinity Muscatine Hospital announced a $6 million infrastructure project slated to begin this month. This project represents the most recent step in a long term plan to upgrade the hospital’s facilities.
According to Chief Human Resources Officer Angie Johnson, work on updating the hospital began with renovations to the building to physically connect the physician clinics to it. In 2012-2013, work continued with upgrades to outpatient care areas, including the emergency room and outpatient operating rooms.
These upgrades will continue in 2021 with a focus primarily on inpatient areas of the hospital. “We knew we would need to focus on the inpatient towers next,” Johnson said.
Among several smaller projects, the upgrades will include a new nurse call system for the inpatient parts of the hospital, renovations in inpatient rooms, and improvements to the fires safety system and patient transportation spaces, things that often need attention in older hospitals. Along with this work, the project will also encompass adding a safe room for psychiatric patients in the emergency room, a recently identified need by hospital staff.
Johnson expects that work on the project will wrap up by the end of the year or by early 2022 at the latest. Though it may lead to temporary closures of small parts of the hospital at a time, it will not impact the services the hospital offers. “We’ll continuate to operate all our patient services Johnson emphasized.”
As work gets underway on this project, Johnson believes it will improve the quality of care area patients can receive. “I’m extremely excited,” she shared: “These are items we have been looking at for a few years. It shows our commitment and that we’re here to stay.”
This specific project focuses on upgrading hospital facilities, not adding additional staff members or expanding the labor and delivery department, which suspended services in February 2020 due to a shortage of obstetricians. However, Johnson did share that efforts continue to find enough providers to restore these services in the future. “We continue to work with third party providers to add in labor and delivery at a future time.” Johnson did not detail what providers UnityPoint Trinity Muscatine Hospital had contacted or how soon birthing services could resume, but she did emphasize the hospital would have the funding to cover them in the event they find the staff to offer them.
Over the past year, Johnson also stated that the hospital had focused on hiring providers for several of its physician clinics. “We have some great new recruits in the pipeline, and we’re working with some new providers,” she detailed. In the coming months, the hospital looks forward to introducing these new doctors to the community.