As technology and medical treatments continue to progress, facility improvements are a high priority to maintain proper care of patients and their Families.

Womack Army Medical Center has recognized the need for improvement and is renovating approximately 79,000 square feet of existing space to provide the best possible care for its patients.

“The construction is necessary to adapt to the ever changing face of healthcare.  When this facility was constructed in the late 1990s, the primary focus of care was in the inpatient setting. Since this time, there has been a shift to more preventive and outpatient care,” said Maj. Matthew K. Marsh, hospital alteration transition officer.

The construction will improve several areas of service, including: inpatient and outpatient records, OB/GYN specialty services, outpatient pediatric subspecialty care, the mother-baby inpatient unit, outpatient pharmacy, Family practice, the Department of Graduate Medical Education (to include the medical library and clinical investigation) and the Emergency Department.

“This renovation will provide many improvements that will directly benefit patients on a daily basis; namely, a more optimized Emergency Department, a centralized pediatric care center for inpatient and outpatient pediatric subspecialties, and an expanded mother-baby postpartum unit that will provide for 100 percent private Family rooms,” Marsh said.

Construction near the Emergency Department began Wednesday. It should continue until about Aug. 8.

“The renovation will provide for several improvements to the patient experience in the Emergency Department,” said Dr. Vicki Lanier, assistant chief of the Emergency Department. “First, when patients arrive to the (Emergency Department) they will notice improved triage facilities that will provide for greater privacy and access to care.”

The improvements will allow patients to be cared for in private suites as opposed to the current bay configurations that are separated by curtains. There also will be up-to-date patient monitoring capabilities within the Emergency Department, which will provide for improved assessment, diagnosis and treatment capability.

“Patients and visitors should rest assured that the quality of care will not change during the renovation,” said Marsh. “Great effort and energy has been placed in planning for the alteration and training of our staff to the upcoming changes in work environment.”

During the renovation of the Emergency Department, Womack will build a temporary facility in modular buildings outside the main Emergency Department entrance. The space will have all of the current equipment expected of an emergency department.

If the Emergency Department entrance is unavailable, patients and visitors will use the All American entrance to the outpatient clinic mall. Wheelchairs and staff will be available for assistance, and the entrance will be open 24 hours per day.

“Cooperation from patients and visitors during this time of construction is pivotal to the success of the operation as there will be times in which access to the Emergency Department will be altered,” said Marsh.