HCH plans medical surgery area, pharmacy update
Kaitlyn Clay, Staff Writer, [email protected]
Since the ground was broken on the Harrison County Hospital in 2005, there have not been many additions or updates done. However, in a meeting Thursday, the hospital’s board of trustees approved an update to the pharmacy area along with a new medical-surgery area, that will also function as an isolation space, and nurses station.
This pharmacy update was supposed to happen at the end of 2019 but was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Now, the update is beginning to take shape, as the board voted to accept the bid from Hagerman Group, based out of Louisville, as the construction team. The bid came in at $299,100, with about $222,000 of funds to be used for the pharmacy update and $77,000 to be used for the nursing and isolation area.
The pharmacy update will be a lot of engineering work that deals with sealing off compounding areas, Harrison County Hospital CEO Steve Taylor explained to the board.
“It will be substantial mechanical work that will change how the air flows in the space and how to fluctuate our negative pressure system,” he said.
The new medical area, located in the south hallway in the inpatient unit, will have eight or nine beds that will have the function of being isolation areas. It will also add a nurses station in this area. Taylor said the hope is to use these spaces for COVID-19 patients who need to be isolated from the public.
“It seems every five or six years a virus or illness like COVID happens,” Taylor said. “Illnesses like Ebola, swine flu or something else similar to those occur, and we will need this area to isolate patients while we learn more about the virus. We will be able to use these spaces for COVID patients as soon as it is finished.”
Taylor also noted that the $77,000 would qualify for Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act money and would be something he would apply for.
In other business during the meeting, the board unanimously approved about $110,000 to be divided between hospital staff for the end-of-the-year employee bonuses. Staff should see that bonus no later than Dec. 18.
“It has been nine or so months that our team has been battling this COVID war,” Taylor said. “Due to the extraordinary efforts of our staff and all involved, this bonus is necessary to award their efforts. We cannot thank them enough for what they do.”
Taylor gave thanks to Harrison County officials for approving two new ambulances for the county EMS, stating they were much needed for the staff to continue providing exceptional service and care to residents.
The next Harrison County Hospital Board of Trustees’ meeting is planned for Thursday, Dec 17.