$14 million investment increases E.R. beds to 43

CMC hosts ribbon cutting for emergency department expansion

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Cartersville Medical Center CEO Chris Mosley said the vast emergency department upgrades that began last summer aren’t just a major addition to the local hospital — they represent a $14 million investment in Bartow County itself.

“We have certainly spent a lot of time on this, but we’re excited to share it with you,” Mosley said at a ribbon-cutting ceremony held Thursday morning. “We’ve had this in the works for about a year, and there are a couple of different components to it, but the one that we’re celebrating the most today is the expansion of the E.R.”

Work on the expansion project wrapped up last month. Mosley said the renovations represent both functional and aesthetic improvements for the hospital, and are instrumental in improving CMC’s overall throughput.

“We’ve gone from a 30-bed E.R., which is already pretty big, to a 43-bed E.R.,” he said, “which, to my knowledge, makes us the largest E.R. by beds between Marietta and Chattanooga.”

Of those beds, Mosley said 32 are reserved for general treatment and four are meant for trauma services. The local hospital was certified as a Level III trauma center by the Georgia Department of Public Health in July 2018.

Another significant addition to the hospital's emergency department, he said, are the seven new behavioral health rooms. 

"That’s incredibly important to us,” he said. “You might not know it, but we see a large number of behavioral health patients — they come to us through our E.R., not needing any emergency medical treatment, per se, but they do need treatment. And we’re here, and a lot of times, as the last resort for them.”

The emergency department upgrades, Mosley continued, also includes a “fast treatment area” for rapid medical evaluations. 

“When patients come in with low acuity, it really helps us to ensure that they’re not waiting a very long time in the E.R. lobby, and they’re not waiting a really long time in the E.R. proper,” he said.

Brentwood, Tennessee-based TMPartners, PLLC served as the architectural firm for the project, while West Point, Georgia-headquartered Batson-Cook Construction provided general contractor services.

Mosley acknowledged that it wasn't always easy managing emergency department services while the brick and mortar work was ongoing.

“Us doing this construction with a fully-functioning E.R. is like changing the tires on a car while you’re driving down the road,” he said. “The coordination that it takes between our general contractors and our E.R., and just our whole house, is really impressive.”

With an average of 165 emergency room patients entering the hospital on a daily basis, Mosley said the departmental expansion is greatly needed. This year alone, he said CMC is on pace to treat around 60,000 E.R. visitors.

“At this E.R., you’re going to be seen, you’re going to be seen quickly and the hope is that we’re going to get you to the next step in your treatment,” Mosley said, “whether that’s you get discharged or whether that’s you’re going to get admitted to the hospital as quickly as we can while doing what we need to do.”

Also speaking at the event was Mitch Edgeworth, a chief administrative officer for HCA TriStar Division — a branch of CMC’s parent company, Nashville-based HCA Healthcare.

“The asset is not the physical plant, the asset is not the $14 million investment,“ he said. “The great assets are the people wearing these phenomenal Cartersville Medical Center badges, who really do the yeoman’s work of taking care of your neighbors, your parents, your siblings, your kids, every single day.”

Continuing, Edgeworth said he expects the local hospital’s footprint to expand again in the very near future.

“This is clearly not the first time HCA has invested in the Cartersville community,” he said. “And I want you to know, loudly and proudly, it will not be the last.”