Herkimer County’s only hospital launched a capital campaign late last year to raise $1.8 million toward a $12.5 million project to renovate and expand outpatient services.
Addressing members of the county legislature last week, Little Falls Hospital President and Chief Executive Officer Michael Ogden said the Healthy Hospital, Healthy Community Campaign has raised more than $1.4 million so far and is on its way to meeting its goal in support of a project that will enhance outpatient and ambulatory care and result in a better patient experience.
“The expansion and renovation is desperately needed, and we very much appreciate the support the campaign has already seen,” said Ogden. “We believe the success of this campaign is recognition of the fact that an investment in Little Falls Hospital is an investment in the community’s health.”
The project will expand and improve the hospital’s surgical suite, as well as its radiology, cardiology, and rehabilitation services. Specifically, Ogden told legislators the following changes will occur:
• The hospital’s 50 year old surgical suite will be transformed into a modern facility and consolidated into one location on the hospital’s second floor with recovery and support services.
• Physical and occupational therapy services will be consolidated and modernized into a more efficient space on the hospital’s first floor that will include private treatment rooms.
• Cardiology services will expand and serve as a diagnostic center for the Bassett Heart Care Institute, offering cardiology diagnostic testing and cardiology consults.
• Radiology services will be consolidated into one location in the hospital to improve patient access.
“Since 2006, when Little Falls Hospital became an affiliate of the Bassett Healthcare Network, more than $10 million has been invested in improving the emergency department, establishing a dialysis center and making renovations to the inpatient unit. We believe the $12.5 million being invested now to improve the outpatient facilities will assure Little Falls Hospital will be able to meet the demands, needs and expectations of patients now and in the future,” said Ogden.
Other changes include the replacement of the hospital’s emergency back-up system to meet today’s emergency preparedness standards and the construction of a dedicated emergency entrance.
“The hospital, as well as the entire Bassett Heathcare Network, is also transitioning to a new electronic medical record system that will improve efficiency in health care delivery and provide patients with an enhanced experience,” said Ogden. “This new system will streamline the patient’s health care delivery, reduce the risk of errors and enable patients to be more involved in their care.”
Explaining how the system will work, Ogden said if a patient is referred by his or her physician to a specialist, the specialist will have immediate access to all of the patient’s history. As soon as the specialist sees the patient, the specialist’s notes will be available to the primary care physician. If the patient is later seen in the emergency department, all of the patient’s history will be there.
Page 2 of 2 - Ogden also said Bassett Healthcare Network built a primary care facility on the campus of Little Falls Hospital last year so it could expand its existing health center, which had been inside the hospital.
“With the relocation of those primary care services into the new facility, an additional primary care provider has been added to further improve access to primary and preventive care for families in Herkimer County and the Mohawk Valley,” he said as he made note approximately 54,000 people in 10 communities in three counties rely on the hospital for health care services.
“Little Falls Hospital is important to Herkimer County. It’s a major employer, it’s our only hospital and a lot of people have come to rely on its services. It’s great to see the hospital is doing well and expanding because it is so important to the county,” said legislature Chairman Vincent Bono.
Anyone wishing to support the Healthy Hospital, Healthy Community Campaign may send their donation to Little Falls Hospital, Community Relations and Development, 140 Burwell St., Little Falls, NY 13365 or call 823-5326 for more information.
In addition to the campaign, other funding in support of the two-year project will come from a state grant through the Health Care Efficiency and Affordability Law for New Yorkers.