The emergency room entrance at Parkview Medical Center in Pueblo has been closed since August 20, as part of a major renovation to the facility.
The plans for renovations have been ongoing for the past five years and are now coming to fruition as officials of the medical center renovate in order to accommodate the tens of thousands of patients they see each year.
According to Vince Velasquez, Assistant Vice President of Support Services at Parkview Medical Center, the renovations will double the size of the emergency room. The expansion will add some necessary services to the emergency department including new exam rooms, a mental health area, decontamination shower and CT scanners.
Currently it’s estimated that 160 to 180 patients go through the Parkview Medical Center emergency room daily and the need to expand has become urgent, especially as the population of Pueblo continues to expand as well.
The renovations will go through six phases so as not to hinder hospital operations as well as patient services and treatments. Though the renovations are expected to take two years, some changes will be seen sooner rather than later.
One of those will be the emergency department’s new waiting room which is expected to be finished in November.
While the main entrance to the ER is closed, patients needing emergency services will have to go through the main entrance of the facility before being ushered through to the emergency department.
Officials at Parkview have taken special precautions during the ER entrance closure to ensure that patients who are unable to walk or take themselves to the emergency department through the main entrance are provided for through triage nurses who will escort patients and provide wheelchairs when necessary.
By the end of the renovations, patients and staff can expect to see the emergency department’s square footage double in size - a key factor in allowing staffers to care for patients.
Another part of the expansion to be completed in the early phases of the renovation are the security check points and metal detectors which patients, staff and visitors can expect to see permanently installed at the main entrance as well as the Greenwood and Skybridge entrances by November.
The new renovations to Parkview Medical Center’s main facility is just another in a line of expanded services that the medical center has put in place in Pueblo. In February the medical center added its Parkview Outpatient Center, which has boosted the city’s economy since opening.
The 22,000 square-foot building brought four endoscopy suites and four outpatient operation rooms to Parkview’s campus along with space for patient recovery.
As for the economic impact, most of those who worked on the construction of the facility were from Pueblo.
“It’s estimated that over 200 Pueblo tradesmen worked on this project over the last 11 months,” said Jeff Genova, president and CEO of New Image Drywall in a release. “Approximately 70 percent of the workforce used at this facility were Pueblo residents. This number doesn’t include the numerous local suppliers and their employees who also contributed.”
The affect on the local economy could be felt through various ripples as the majority of the wages earned through the project remained within the local economy.
“This was made possible by Parkview Medical Center creating a prequalified bidder’s list that incorporates a divers list of bidders from the Pueblo area,” Genova said. “Parkview has excelled at establishing and implementing a workforce plan that sent local contractors as a priority.”
Parkview is the largest non-government, nonprofit, private sector employer in Pueblo County with more than 2,700 employees and provides a skilled medical staff of over 370 physicians.