Update: EMMC Inpatient Modernization Project

10/14/2010

It has been two years since EMMC received its Certificate of Need (CON) approval to build a modern patient care space at EMMC. At the time of the application, patient volume at EMMC was pressing hard on our capacity on a daily basis, and patients were enduring uncomfortably long waits for care, both in the EMMC Emergency Room and at sending hospitals throughout the region. The facility issues remain the same; EMMC’s 30-year old Main Operating Rooms are challenged to accommodate the modern technology EMMC’s surgeons use to provide leading edge care; and both the Labor and Delivery area and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit are outdated and in need of replacement to meet patient needs and –in the case of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit--modern building codes. A planned conversion of a large number of patient rooms from double occupancy to private, single rooms is integral to our plan, to address patient safety issues, enhanced privacy, noise reduction, as well as family accommodation and service improvement.

The economic recession has caused EMMC’s volume to fluctuate and has affected EMMC’s financial performance.  Nevertheless, EMMC remains committed to the Inpatient Modernization project and to providing excellent and comprehensive services to residents throughout northern, eastern and central Maine.
The CON award included a number of conditions.  In the years since the CON approval, EMMC administrators and planners have been working with architects and construction estimators to determine how to modify our plans and re-phase and re-scope the work to fulfill patient needs in a more affordable plan and timeframe and that met the conditions of the CON. That work continues, with replacing surgery areas being our top priority.  In September, the CON Unit confirmed that EMMC met the CON conditions.

Over the past two years we have been in regular contact with the CON unit to report on our progress as required by state law, most recently to  demonstrate to them that we have substantially “commenced” our project. We are currently in discussions with the CON unit regarding the timeframe of the work we have done to date to meet their conditions, and to confirm that the dollars that have been spent on these modifications constitute "commencement."  It is our confident belief that we have met the requirements of the state in this regard, and have provided the CON office with appropriate documentation to show the Inpatient Modernization Project is moving forward at an acceptable pace. 

We are committed to moving forward with plans that will fulfill our obligation to our community, our patients, and our staff to provide safe and modern facilities that support the high level, specialty care that is available nowhere else in the region.