GREENSBURG — On Wednesday morning, the Daily News took a brief tour of Decatur County Memorial Hospital’s (DCMH) recently-completed fourth floor.
For now, the new floor – completed in conjunction with DCMH’s Phase I construction project in 2013 – usually sits empty. On Wednesday, however, it was the site of the hospital’s annual Employee Expo, staged as part of the facility’s National Hospital Week employee celebrations (it was also the site of DCMH’s ‘Employee Recognition Dinner’ earlier this year).
DCMH CEO Linda Simmons thought the occasion an opportune time to tell the Daily News a little about the hospital’s lesser-known recent addition.
Floor four, Simmons explained, is an exact replica of the third floor, which opened with the facility’s new Medical/Surgery Unit in September 2013. The unused floor was constructed as part of Phase I, in large part, Simmons said, as a cost-saving measure. “It was cheaper to build now,” she explained.
The fourth floor is not merely identical to the third in layout, Simmons added, but also in the fact that’s it’s built to the same “medical-grade” standard, meaning it’s ready to house patients now, including all necessary electricity, plumbing and other necessities.
Simmons estimates that, by building the floor as part of the Phase I construction project, the hospital saved between $50 and $100 per square foot – of a total 15,000 square feet involved in the floor’s construction. Of course, those figures, the CEO stressed, are an estimate, assuming the cost of labor and materials remain identical at some future, hypothetical date to what they were in 2013.
Simmons agreed the structure could accurately be characterized as a “rainy day floor,” but anticipates it will eventually house an “out-care space,” with a clinical diagnostic focus. “There will be no overnight stays here,” she said. “That’s not the way healthcare is going.”