Cape Cod Hospital Plans ER Expansion

(Hyannis, Sept. 25, 2012) – Cape Cod Hospital officials presented a much-needed plan to expand the hospital’s emergency department during a Sept. 25  public hearing at the Cape Cod Commission.

The hospital is proposing an expansion of approximately 25,000 square feet to the west side of the current emergency center. Upon completion, the expanded center will contain 54,000 square feet of floor area. Each treatment space will be located within its own exam room, so patients will not have to be examined and treated in hallways, as sometimes happens now during high-volume periods. Furthermore, new treatment spaces will be sized so that a patient’s family can stay with the patient receiving care.

“The project will provide a modern and appropriately-sized facility,” said Craig Cornwall, M.D., chief of the hospital’s emergency department. “It will significantly improve patient comfort, access and flow, and enhance the environment for emergency caregivers.”

Cost of the project is $20 million, much of which will come from philanthropy. Cape Cod Healthcare Board of Trustees Chairman Tom Wroe and his wife Candice Wroe donated $1 million to kick off fundraising efforts for the project last year.

This project is clearly one that will benefit the community and is a community necessity. Cape Cod Hospital’s Emergency Center was last expanded almost 20 years ago, in 1993. At the time of this last expansion, the hospital was experiencing 53,000 emergency visits per year. The 1993 expansion designed the 30,000-square-foot emergency center to accommodate an estimated 60,000 annual visits.

However, since the last expansion, as the Cape’s population has grown, the number of patients in the EC has skyrocketed. In 2004, the center saw 78,000 visitors and in 2011, over 90,000 visitors. Despite these challenges, the CCH emergency center consistently ranks in the top 5% of all hospitals nationally in patient satisfaction. And care response times – which are now posted live online at -- are excellent. Ninety percent of CCH and FH Emergency Department patients are in a room within 25 minutes.

The application/documents for this project are all public information; anyone can go to the Cape Cod Commission offices and ask to review materials that have been filed. All abutters within 300 feet of the property received a notice in the mail in advance of the public hearing.

Cape Cod Healthcare – one of America’s Top Ten health care systems – is the leading provider of healthcare services for residents and visitors of Cape Cod. With more than 450 physicians, 4,500 employees and 1,100 volunteers, Cape Cod Healthcare has two acute care hospitals, the Cape’s leading provider of homecare and hospice services (VNA), a skilled nursing and rehabilitation facility, an assisted living facility, the Cape’s only local laboratory service (C-Lab) and numerous health programs. Cape Cod Healthcare. We’re taking good care of you.

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