COLUMBIA — Things are starting to look a little better for the sick and injured in Boone County.
Tuesday morning, staff members at Boone Hospital Center, along with the Columbia Chamber of Commerce, celebrated the opening of the newly renovated emergency department — a project that's been four years in the making.
“It’s high time these folks got a nice place to work,” hospital President Dan Rothery said, referring to the expanded nurses’ station, triage area and waiting room.
In addition to aiding the staff, the $1.8 million renovation also:
- Adds four new emergency rooms with greater privacy and square footage for patients
- Extends the outdoor canopy to provide patients and the people transporting them better protection from the elements when they arrive
- Provides additional screening and staging areas
- Doubles the size of the waiting room
Boone Hospital sees around 33,000 patients a year, and with a 4 percent to 5 percent annual increase in patient numbers, staff welcomes the additional space.
“Waiting times vary between six to eight hours in emergency departments across the country,” said Chris Vaughan, manager of the emergency department. “We are very fortunate in mid-Missouri to have that down to two to three hours, but we’re still trying to increase our efficiency and bring that waiting time down.”
The $1.8 million for the expansion and renovations came from Boone Hospital's operating fund.