IDAHO FALLS – Idaho Falls Community Hospital opened its doors Monday for emergency room and general admission patients, but the official opening day for the public is Monday, Dec. 2.
During a tour of the newly completed hospital, Casey Jackman, the hospital COO told EastIdahoNews.com a ribbon-cutting and grand opening celebration is forthcoming. But right now the most important thing is making sure they’re able to care for their patients.
“What we want to focus on right now is making sure we have all the supplies we expected to have, making sure the staff is accustomed to this big, new building, and making sure that when a patient needs us, we’re not fumbling around,” Jackman says.
A date for the ribbon-cutting has not yet been announced.
The 182,000-square-foot hospital is next door to Mountain View Hospital and will work with Mountain View to broaden its current medical offering with an emergency room, intensive care unit, and other acute care services.
“We have a 22-bed emergency room that’s set up to take care of anything that a normal emergency room sees,” says Jackman.
There are a total of 88 beds in the main hospital, with 22 more emergency room beds. The hospital also includes 240-square foot suites, each with its own bathroom, shower, window and sleeper sofa in case someone wants to stay by the patient’s side.
Though there is a perfectly good level 2 trauma center across the street at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center, Jackman says having two hospitals in close proximity will be mutually beneficial for the hospitals and the patients.
“Competition is a good thing,” Jackman says. “It certainly makes us try to be the best we possibly can be, and maybe even stretch a little to be better. If we do things right and EIRMC does things right, the ones who really benefit are the patients of southeast Idaho.”
The hospital also has a restaurant-style cafeteria with a seating capacity of up to 73 people, and Jackman says they pride themselves on having several professional chefs working there to provide freshly-made food daily. Access to a sophisticated electronic medical record allows them to know the nutritional and dietary needs of patients.
“(We can) make sure we’re not feeding something to somebody that they have an allergy to or that we’re not giving them something (they’re not supposed to have),” Jackman says.
Hospital construction cost $116 million, and another $25 million was spent on operating costs prior to opening. The project was funded by a medical trust that also operates Mountain View.
A 302-space parking garage next to the hospital was completed last year.
The hospital has been in the works for the last six years, but it took a while to get the project up and running.
“We feel like people have been wanting a different option for healthcare, and we’ve enjoyed providing that in the limited basis that we did at Mountain View. We wanted to expand that and be able to work with insurance providers to help drive down costs,” says Jackman.
Though Mountain View and Idaho Falls Community Hospital are two separate entities, Jackman says providing medical care will be a collaborative effort.
“We’ve found a way to work with Mountain View Hospital to help contain costs here. We do that by contracting with them to provide certain services that we need to be able to run a business,” Jackman says.
One of those services is Human Resources. Idaho Falls Community Hospital is utilizing Mountain View’s large HR Department to save on employment costs, while focusing on hiring the right people for clinical positions. The medical staff consists of about 350 people, but about 100 of those are contracted through Mountain View.
To learn more about positions available with Idaho Falls Community Hospital, click here.
SEE INSIDE THE NEW HOSPITAL IN THE VIDEO PLAYER ABOVE.