UPMC Memorial hospital is ready to move to its new location. Hospital officials are preparing to officially open the doors of the hospital's new location on August 18th at 6 a.m.
The move requires the hospital to also transport patients, which could amount to as many as 30 people. Hospital officials therefore have ambulances ready to transport patients and expect to increase or decrease the amount of ambulances based on need.
"We may need to take nurses along. We may need to take physicians along in the back of an ambulance to ensure patient safety during the whole process," said Dr. Michael Spangler, Vice President of Medical Affairs at UPMC Memorial Hospital.
The hospital is also preparing to have an "all hands on deck" approach to staffing to ensure both the new and old locations are prepared to handle patient needs on moving day.
"We literally have a full complement of staff here at the new hospital during that time as well as the old hospital," said Dr. Spang.er
However, Dr. Spangler admits some of the hardest patients to transport from the hospital's old location to the the new facility August 18th may be pregnant women. He adds, "if they are actively in stages of labor we will wait until the baby has been delivered."
The new hospital on 1701 Innovation Drive in West Manchester Township features 102 beds and is 36% percent larger than the former location on South Belmont Street. The new location also offers acute and emergency medical care, cardiology and vascular services, maternity services, chronic disease management and surgical services. A new outpatient center will also open September 9th.
The hospital's emergency room will stay open during the weekend. But, ambulances across the region have been put on notice to divert patients to other hospitals if possible to lessen problems leading up to the move on August 18th.
FOX43 spoke to officials as well at York Regional Emergency Medical Services who operate ambulances in the region. They do not believe the move will be a large issue this weekend for ambulance services, but long term medics are conducting time trials to determine how long it will take ambulances to reach the UPMC Memorial hospital location in traffic.
Dr. David Lee of Wellspan York Hospital Emergency Department also released this statement when asked by FOX43 about a possible increase in the number of patients it could see this weekend during UPMC Memorial's move:
"WellSpan York Hospital is proud to be our region’s only Level 1 Trauma Center, which means we receive the most seriously injured and sick patients from across south central Pennsylvania. We will continue to serve as York County’s reliable resource for comprehensive, advanced specialty care – including emergency care. We have planned higher physician and nurse staffing levels to accommodate any potential increase in patient volumes we may receive from local EMS providers over the next several days."
UPMC Pinnacle said York County has experienced a population grow of more than 16 percent in the last two decades and the new hospital is meant to better serve patients. It adds, UPMC Memorial hospital saw its emergency department visits increase from 15,000 annually to 45,000 over the last 20 years and births increase from 300 to 500 per year.