NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (KNOP)- Medicine is always advancing, and so is Great Plains Health to keep up with the demands of it. Chief Operations Officer Ivan Mitchell says that not only are they adding to and rebuilding the infrastructure of the hospital, but Great Plains Health has also greatly expanded their team of specialists to serve western Nebraska at a greater capacity.
"It's a big deal for the area. Back in 2014 we had around twelve to fourteen thousand a year on visits. Right now we have around 20,000 visits annually. We've grown quite a bit," said Mitchell.
The size of the unit will more than double to keep up with the growing demands of patients.
"It's going to go from 13 rooms to 27, so we're going to double our footprint. It's a need for the area and the region. We've seen that spike as the medical group has added some great specialists. We've really seen the need for emergency services in this part of the state spike quite a bit," said Mitchell.
Mitchell also explained how the building has to be undertaken in phases, since the hospital must keep operating.
"We're currently standing in phase 1A. This will be the first phase of the new emergency department. Currently we're also working on Phase 1B. It will be complete about the end of May of this year. One of the challenges with a project like this is you can't close it. It has to be able to function while you're doing the construction," stated Mitchell.
Phase 1A, or the dropoff area and waiting room will be finished on April 8th. Construction on all phases is on track to be complete by summer of 2020.