Leading the Way in New Hospital Design For Texas’ Single-Provider Communities
For many rural hospitals, deteriorating facilities and out-of-date technology are increasingly common. “As new services are developed it is important to have the proper space to deliver those new services in a quality manner." said Michael S. Thompson, CEO, Frio Regional Hospital. Modernization is necessary for rural hospitals to continue providing high levels of care to their patients.
Regional Hospital faced such a dilemma recently with the old Frio Hospital
in Pearsall, Texas. Frio Regional Hospital
chose to move forward with a new facility. The new hospital, a
42,000 SF freestanding facility, includes 22 acute care beds with
outpatient, surgical, obstetric and emergency services.
The new facility provides a tremendous advantage. Prior to planned
development, the hospital had purchased 112 acres with one mile of
frontage on IH-35 South access road.
An EDA grant of $1 million was obtained to finance infrastruction
for the hospital, future clinics and other business park entities. The $8 million facility was
financed with $5 million cash and a $3 million tax-exempt bank loan. The master
site plan incorporates future growth to support the continuum of care
through medical office buildings and long term care facilities. Today, two
medical office buildings sit near the new hospital, and roads around the
site are in place for future expansion. The site’s proximity to a major
interstate also provides excellent visibility and accessibility for the
Administration and staff at Frio Regional Hospital are now prepared for the growth that the new facility will attract. The function layout of the hospital facilitates future expansion of all major departments while maintaining an efficient circulation for patients and staff.
After one year, the hospital experienced a 10% volume increase. And while the new hospital is
three times the size of the old facility, the innovative design and
effective relationship of services has allowed the administration to
maintain their staffing levels at 3.9 full time employees per adjusted
occupied bed. According to Mr. Holmes, there was some pressure to make the
facility bigger during the planning stages of the project, “but we
maintained a conservative position.”
The conservative size of the hospital,
combined with the efficient/patient ratio supports Frio Regional
Hospital’s operational and financial goals.
The board of Frio Regional Hospital chose O’Connell Robertson and Associates, Inc. as architects. O’Connell Robertson provided architecture, engineering, and interior design services as well as construction administration.
Project Control of Texas of San Antonio provided construction management services. Project Control involved Mitchell Construction Company as well as the electrical and mechanical sub-contractor in the planning stages which resulted in cost reduction of roughly 11%.
Project Control was hired for a flat fee of $146,000 to represent the owner. All other parties (architects, hospital staff, physicians, contractors) have incentives to increase the scope and cost of the project. PCT provided technical assistance in negotiations with all contractors and planning from the beginning, resulting in savings far in excess of their fee. A list of all expenses associated with this project is available on request.
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