Schuyler Hospital [a member of Cayuga Health System] held a groundbreaking ceremony today to kick off the construction of a 15,000 square foot state-of-the-art Medical-Surgical inpatient unit. This is Phase 1 of a two-part construction project expected to be completed by July 2020. The project was made possible by a $10.3 million New York State Statewide Health Care Facility Program Grant that was awarded in July of 2017.
The unit will include 12 large, single rooms and 4 semi-private beds. Improved monitoring will allow nurses to check each patient’s status from a central station and quickly respond to monitor alerts detecting changes in a patient’s condition. The new design will provide a pleasant, healing environment with an open central space that will give nurses an unobstructed view to the private patient rooms located along the unit’s perimeter.
“The improvements will provide better health care in our community and will allow our hospital’s staff to give more effective and efficient care to each patient,” said John Rudd, President and CEO of Cayuga Health System. “In addition, the growth and expansion at Schuyler Hospital benefits the entire Cayuga Health System, as we continually expand our health care role throughout the region. .”
Phase 2 will include the complete renovation of the current Medical-Surgical unit into a 9,185 square foot new Primary Care Center that is telehealth enabled and will offer improved care coordination. This move will enhance patient care by locating the Primary Care Clinic to the front of the building and adjacent to the Specialty Clinic and improve interdisciplinary coordination for treatment plans.
“Having Primary Care in our main building will also be a great convenience to our patients,” says Jim Watson, President and CEO of Schuyler Hospital. “When patients see their physicians and get an order for blood work or x-rays, they only have to walk a few steps to get the tests done that day in the same building.”
The number of examination rooms in the new Primary Care Clinic will increase to 18 from the current 13 rooms. The additional rooms will improve scheduling of patient appointments and allow patients to see their physicians more quickly. The clinic will have a room dedicated to behavioral health visits and enhanced technology to provide rapid laboratory tests that can deliver diagnostic results in less than 15 minutes for flu and strep throat infections.
“We’ll also have a secure, high-speed digital link for telemedicine that advances local patient care,” says Watson. “When patients come to the Primary Care Clinic with complex health needs, the telemedicine link will allow our patients and their physicians to have a real-time consultation with a specialist at other locations across the system to develop a treatment plan.”
In anticipation of the expansion, work began in November 2018 on new and expanded parking lots to support the Transformation project. The Phase 1 project cost is primarily covered by a $10.3 million grant from New York’s Statewide Health Care Facility Transformation Program. The grant was the largest of six grants, totaling $40 million, awarded in 2017 to hospitals and health-care programs in the Southern Tier. The new project follows a $6.5 million renovation funded by a state grant in 2014 that improved the hospital’s clinical laboratory, radiology unit, operating rooms, out-patient registration area, and gift shop, as well as its main entrance and hallway.
“We’re designing these improvements to meet our patients’ needs now, and in the future,” says Matthew Rouff, Administrator, Outpatient and Support Services at Schuyler Hospital and the project’s manager.
The growth of specialty health-care services at Schuyler Hospital underscores how patient needs have been changing. In 2014, the hospital’s two specialists in orthopedics and general surgery had approximately 1,500 patient visits. By the end of 2018, nine specialists were at the hospital for approximately 5,000 patient visits. The range of on-site specialty care includes oncology, cardiology, neuro-surgery, gynecology, Sleep / Pulmonology, orthopedics, general surgery, wound care, and ear, nose and throat care.