Macon County Chronicle

MCGH Receives Funding Approval for E.D.

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The healthcare landscape is ever changing and hospitals must adapt and change or be left behind. Macon County General Hospital (MCGH) has developed a long-term building plan and the first phase is a replacement Emergency Department. Funding was approved by the USDA with additional funding from Citizens Bank and Macon Bank and Trust.


The current ED at MCGH was remodeled in existing space in 1990 and expanded the ED from two beds to 6 beds. However, only one bed is a private room and the remaining beds are separated by curtains. Additionally, the mechanical room for the hospital is located in the middle of the ED and essentially causes the ED to have two rooms on each end with a small space for two beds in the middle. In order to improve patient flow and quality of care and reduce the potential for HIPAA violations, we completed a study to re-locate the mechanical room to improve patient areas in the ED. The cost for relocating the mechanical room was 1.2 million dollars with no renovation of vacated space and we did not feel that would be a wise use of resources for the little benefit we would receive.

We began looking at the possibility of building the first phase of the Master Plan and constructing a new ED for the hospital. In conjunction with this plan, a new entrance would be created to access the ED and other areas of the hospital and services.

This would combine registration to only one area in the hospital and services. This would combine registration to only one area in the hospital and create a “new front door” with a covered unloading zone to improve the patient experience. The $4,725,000 project will add 8,222 square feet of new construction and renovate 2,175 square feet. The project will enhance ED services as follows:

•             Patients will be able to have a private room vs beds with curtains separating them

•             A new entrance with a separate waiting area vs an entrance that was the old back door to the hospital

•             Ambulances will have a separate entrance and will not be bringing patients through the outpatient area of the hospital

•             There will be a room for physicians and staff to meet with the patient and/or family in private instead of in the outpatient hall or the waiting room

•             The new facility will have 2 large  trauma/cardiac rooms, an OB room, an isolation room, 4 private exam rooms and a holding room for mentally ill patients (currently have 1 small trauma/cardiac room, 5 semi-private exam room and no holding room for mentally ill patients)

MCGH gives high quality care as evidenced by its quality scores and low mortality and complication ratings. However, our patient satisfaction scores for the ED are the lowest of any department in the hospital and we believe that is driven in large part by the condition of the currently facility. By replacing the current ED, we are projecting that we would slow the outmigration and increase utilization by all segments of the population that would in turn, increase the utilization of all inpatient and outpatient areas of the hospital.

This project will provide state of the art Emergency Department facilities enhanced by the hospitals modern equipment to better meet the growing healthcare needs of our community and reduce the need for our citizens to go out of town for their healthcare needs. This project will enable us to meet one of the primary responsibilities of our mission statement, “To continually improve our services to meet our community healthcare needs.”

Commented MCGH Administrator Dennis Wolford, “This will be a state of the art emergency department and it will be a major plus for our community. We want to thank everyone in the community for their support, especially the local banks for their efforts. Construction is scheduled to begin sometime in February, 2017, and the project should take about one year to complete. Once again, thanks to everyone.”