IOWA CITY, Iowa (KWWL) — The Iowa City VA Hospital is now seeing patients in its new $10 million emergency room.
The new emergency room was completed in August of 2017, but workers couldn’t move in due to the construction that needed to happen above it.
Iowa City VA officials explain that federal funding conditions only allow them to work on $10 million projects at a time. The second phase, which costs around $5 million, will include two new MRI stations and a mammography station right above the ER room.
Once the ER was completed they were able to move to phase two. Staff finished moving into the new facility on Friday and started taking patients there that night.
The new space provides workers and patients more space, according to staff.
The biggest changes patients will find is that the new ER has more privacy with individual rooms.
“We had nine beds before. We move up to 12 beds,” Emergency Clinical Nurse Manager Karen Davison said. “We had challenges with privacy and so that was so that was really an important thing for the veteran population to have private rooms so all of the rooms are private.”
In comparison, the old facility had open rooms with a small wall that divided them. Workers say it meant conversations weren’t private for staff or patients.
Davison said they see anywhere from 30 to 40 patients a day. She said that’s a lot for a small facility like theirs.
She said they already have some of the lowest wait times in the country, but the growth in the new space will only improve it more.
Phase two of the VA renovations expects to open this September.