ROANOKE, Va. – More than 200 patients a day visit the Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital's emergency room.
To help ease overcrowding, the emergency room will continue its $14 million renovations.
Dr. John Burton, the department chair of emergency medicine for Carilion Clinic, said some of these changes double the number of available beds for patients.
“Ten years ago, our volume of patients was approximately 68,000 a year in this department,” said Burton. “Right now, we are at about 85,000 patients a year.”
Burton said some of these changes include reducing the number of turns in a hallway in the trauma center and moving the radiology unit to a different floor to create additional space for patients.
He also explained that there are two stages for the renovation.
"The big picture here is we are turning hallway beds into hard wall rooms,” said Burton. “Also, we are turning soft curtain wall rooms into hard wall rooms. ”
While doing this, the hospital is able to double the number of beds, but the additional beds require more helping hands.
They have already hired four new doctors and will be hiring 20 additional nurses after the project is done.
"The benefit of the additional staff is the fact that we can keep all areas of the department open at all times and manage the patients in a better manner,” said MIke McKenna, unit director for the emergency department.
The next stage of renovation will begin in the upcoming weeks.