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Competing hospital prepares for Good Samaritan closing

Grandview Medical Center is on the final leg of a $25 million emergency department expansion in anticipation of Good Samaritan Hospital closing.

When Good Samaritan closes its ER at noon on July 19, its nearly 60,000 annual patient visits will have to shift elsewhere. While Premier Health, Good Samaritan’s parent company, has said it has enough capacity at its nearby hospitals for those patients, Grandview is anticipating it will see many of the patients since it will be the closest hospital.

“We’ll be the closest facility and we’ll be the only hospital left in west Dayton,” said Becky Lewis, president of Grandview Medical Center, who spoke exclusively this week to the Dayton Daily News and NewsCenter 7 about the hospital’s preparation and expansion work.

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Within weeks after the Good Samaritan closing announcement in January, Kettering Health Network, Grandview’s parent company, made plans for the construction project with an aggressive timeline in order to prepare for the increased demand.

The Dayton Daily News previously reported the hospital was estimating it could see an increased annual patient volume between 20,000 and 25,000.

The expansion will mean an additional 23 new ER rooms will be added by Sept. 1, an additional two trauma rooms and four critical care rooms to open mid-September and the last piece will be a new ER canopy where the ambulances pull under, which should be finished in November.

There will be a gap between when the Good Samaritan ER closes and the Grandview project is complete, but the crucial pieces will be in place and the hospital will be prepared, Lewis said.

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The emergency department continues to operate during the construction, which is led by Miamisburg-based Danis Building Construction Co.

Part of that preparation includes changing the way patients are triaged in the ER, shortening the time it takes from when patients enter the ER to when they see a doctor.

The hospital now uses “provider in triage” model that’s a team approach between a physician and two nurses, which is more efficient than the old model of one triage nurse.

Grandview has said it increased the percentage of patients seen by a doctor within 10 minutes from 38 percent to 71 percent using the new model for its ER.

“We are anticipating an annual patient volume increase between 20,000 and 25,000 with that closure. Without this new process, we would not have been able to survive,” Dr. Nikole Funk, medical director at Grandview, had stated in an interview with trade publication HealthLeaders Media.

The two additional trauma rooms will also be an improvement in health care delivery, with overhead radiology and surgical lights, said Lewis.

“So if a patient arrives in a life or death situation, we essentially can operate on them right there,” she said.

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Grandview is also preparing for increased admissions to other services. The hospital is investing about $10 million to $15 million in addition to other expansion projects besides the ER, including new parking and increased cardiology services and labs.

Grandview, located at 405 W. Grand Ave., was founded in 1926 and became part of the Kettering Health Network in 1999. Besides Grandview, Kettering Health operates seven other hospitals in the region and has a large network of doctors.

The closure of Good Samaritan also opened a window for health care recruitment. The health care recruitment environment has grown fiercely competitive as the unemployment rate has plummeted.

Grandview hosted recruiting events closely following the announcement, advertised about jobs on social media and hired 100 people from Good Samaritan, including about 20 doctors.

Grandview employs about 1,635 people.

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