Methodist Northlake to expand emergency room, ICU - February 18, 2016

Courtesy of the Post-Tribune • February 18, 2016

By Christin Nance Lazerus

Methodist Hospitals Northlake kicked off a $10 million project on Wednesday that will expand and revamp its emergency and intensive care units.

Since obtaining “In Process” Level III trauma center designation in 2014, the hospital, at 600 Grant St., Gary, has seen an increase in trauma patients, so the project will help accommodate more patients while providing better ways to deliver health care, said Methodist President and CEO Ray Grady.

Grady thanked the board’s commitment to providing the best in technology, programs and facilities to Northwest Indiana patients.

“In our first year (since the trauma designations) we saw patient volumes increase by 60 percent, and we expect to see that volume continue to grow in future,” Grady said. “In fact, between 2013 and 2015 emergency department volume increased by more than 5,000 visits.”

Methodist Southlake expanded its emergency department in 2013.

The project will expand the number of beds in both the emergency department and the ICU, as well as improving work flow and making rooms more similar in size, said architect Brenda Bush-Moline of VOA Associates Inc.

Bush-Moline discussed specific features, such as alcoves with nursing substations, which bring them closer to the patients and better able to intervene.

“For example, instead of using restraints, if a patient is trying to get out of bed, they can quickly run in and help them,” Bush-Moline said.

A CT scan machine will be located in the emergency department, which is specifically related to the Level III trauma designation.
Dr. Michael McGee, medical director of Methodist’s emergency department, said the hospital has prided itself in developing better ways to serve emergency patients in recent years.

“Patients get upset when they’re out in the waiting room. A lot of times they don’t understand that the person who is in the back who is really sick is getting all of our attention,” McGee said. “We recognize everybody’s emergency is their emergency. So what we put in play is things that will allow us to get to the people who can’t get to the back right away. We have rooms without beds, but they can sit, get stitches removed and be discharged from that chair. We’ve also hired mid-level providers for fast-track emergencies.

“Everything we do is our best practice.”

Franciscan St. Anthony Health in Crown Point recently became the second hospital in Lake County to obtain “In the Process” Level III trauma center designation.
The project, which is part of Methodist’s master facilities plan, is scheduled to be finished in October. Skanska is serving as the construction firm and VOA Associates Inc. is the architect.

Grady noted that Skanska authored an inclusion plan that made sure much of the money spent stays in Gary.

Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson said the project is indicative of what a community partnership looks like.

“It does not happen by accident,” Freeman-Wilson said. “It happens because of the leadership of the CEO, the executive team, board president Mamon Powers, and members of board who understand that this entity is much more than a health care institution. When we celebrate, it’s not just about the building but the people in it — the people who provide the care and the people who receive care.”

“We know that world-class care goes on in this building, but now there will be a world-class facility that matches that care.”