Hospital Board considers options for facility expansion

During the June 18 meeting of the North Big Horn Hospital District Board of Trustees a presentation was made to outline options for a major facility expansion and modernization project.

Gene Kolstad, representing CTA Architects/Engineers and Mitch Goplen, Executive Director of Facility Services for Billings Clinic, made the presentation.

The proposed plan addresses the immediate and long-term emergency room needs, including the addition of roughly 1,600 square feet in order to support three trauma bay rooms and two private exam rooms.  Kolstad informed the board that the current space, now at 1,400 square feet, falls below today’s industry standards. An expansion of the emergency department would provide for optimal patient privacy and space needed to accommodate more life-saving equipment, improve workflow efficiencies, and help to meet growing patient volumes, Kolstad said.

In addition to the emergency department expansion, the plan includes building a new medical clinic.  Remodeling the current clinic was considered; however, due to the significant disruption, which would occur during remodeling, a new building was recommended as the best option.  A new clinic would accommodate the hospital’s growing medical staff, including visiting providers that provide specialty care through the clinic.

Also included in the expansion and modernization plan is space used for outpatient therapies. Two options were presented for a remodel of these areas.  The first option is to remodel the current therapy space only, while the second includes the remodel of the therapy department along with the relocation of all outpatient registration to a centralized area, adding convenience for patients and more efficiency for staff and operations.

The estimated budget of the plan as presented is $4.1 million.

“We’re very pleased to have come this far in our planning to improve the hospital for the community,” said Rick Schroeder, NBHH CEO.  “The board, our executive team and medical staff have been working diligently to identify the highest priorities and have determined that the emergency department and clinic top the list for needed expansion and improvement.”

The entire project cost and options for cost-effective funding for the final plan will be reviewed once an architectural firm is secured to provide detailed programming and schematics.

As new developments occur, details and progress on the proposed project will be posted on the North Big Horn Hospital website