A new state-of-the-art emergency room has opened at Dayton General Hospital.
The $280,000 renovation expanded the emergency area, creating three private rooms along with a dedicated waiting room and restroom.
Prior to the project, the area consisted of one room, with two beds separated by a curtain.
The ER was visible from the main entrance to the hospital, and relatives and friends of patients had to use the hospital’s main waiting area.
The emergency rooms were expanded into space formerly housing the hospital’s medical records.
The records were moved to another unused office area.
Planning for the emergency room project began more than two years ago. Construction began in June.
Shane McGuire, director of operations for Columbia County Health System, said the design and construction cost about $250,000.
Ancillary equipment, including new gurneys, lights and testing and monitoring equipment, cost an additional $30,000.
Funding came from two sources. A $150,000 low-interest loan was provided by Columbia REA, using rural development funds available for communities in its service area.
The loan is to be repaid over five years.
The hospital district also used $130,000 in “meaningful use” funds that became available when government reimbursement was received for a new electronic medical records system that was implemented last year.
The cost of that system was originally covered by a levy approved by voters.
McGuire said that, besides providing privacy for patients and their families, the new configuration is expected to improve workflow and greatly enhance the level of care that patients receive.