A press release from Mercy Health System:
New Crystal Lake Hospital would provide lifeline for McHenry County
High-tech ER will offer access and convenience when seconds count
CRYSTAL LAKE, IL – A new hospital in Crystal Lake would significantly reduce travel times for McHenry County residents in need of emergency medical treatment and provide efficient access to quality healthcare.
A Crystal Lake hospital, proposed for Route 31 and Three Oaks Road, would serve four of the five most populous communities in the county – Crystal Lake, Algonquin, Lake in the Hills and Cary, U.S. Census figures show. Population in those areas has escalated by nearly 20,000 residents from 2000.
“With a hospital in Crystal Lake, local ambulance run times will be cut in half,” said Mercy Vice President Rich Gruber, noting that the proposed hospital plan is “wholeheartedly” endorsed by the Crystal Lake Fire Department. “That saves time so crews can get back into the field and continue to serve the community. Most importantly, reducing run time saves patients precious time when seconds count.”
Mercy Health System submitted plans to state health officials last year to build a $200 million, 353-square-foot, state-of-the-art hospital in Crystal Lake, a project that would begin later this year if approved.
According to Gruber, building a hospital where the most people live only makes sense, especially in emergency situations. Currently, the closest facilities for residents in those four areas are located in Woodstock, McHenry or Barrington.
Visits to emergency rooms, which serve as gateways for treatment and admissions for inpatient care or points of transfer, have increased dramatically throughout the nation in recent years. It’s now more crucial than ever that hospitals focus on delivering timely, exceptional healthcare and ensure patients receive the care they need without lengthy wait times.
“Increased drive times to area hospitals and the subsequent wait times and emergency room overcrowding are unacceptable,” said Dr. Dean Wolanyk who specializes in emergency medicine at Mercy’s Harvard Hospital. “These are factors that diminish the quality of the healthcare patients receive and force them to endure more suffering with potentially tragic consequences. With a Crystal Lake hospital, we are committed to bringing immediate access to quality health care when patients need it most and require the greatest amount of care.”
Mercy’s state-of-the-art emergency room is designed and staffed to attend to patients quickly and efficiently while providing them the comfort, emotional support and information they need. The new amenities and electronic records system will make for an expedited intake process, reducing wait times and enabling patients to see a doctor and receive necessary treatment much faster than traditional emergency rooms.
Emergency-room visits have increased at a rate of twice the population growth, according to the American College of Emergency Physicians. This figure is only expected to increase as the number of uninsured and new Medicaid recipients continue to rise.
According to Press Ganey, which tracks hospital performance nationwide, the average emergency room wait time in 2009 was four hours and seven minutes. Emergency wait times have a direct impact on patient satisfaction, Press Ganey concluded.
That’s why it’s more important than ever that emergency departments have the latest technology and systems in place to better treat large volumes of patients suffering from a myriad of medical issues, Gruber added.
“The last thing anyone who is sick or suffering from an extreme medical condition wants to do is wait to see a doctor,” Gruber said, noting that some other local hospitals have begun posting their wait times online. “Unfortunately, for any patient and their loved ones, a trip to the emergency room is a long and frustrating wait that couldn’t come at a worse time.”
The emergency room will feature 10 beds. It will also include treatment rooms focused on critical care, trauma injuries and heart-related stress.
“When seconds count, families and seniors living in the most highly populated areas obviously have the greatest need and require the most care,” Gruber said.
“They deserve a centralized, accessible facility that provides quality healthcare. A new hospital in Crystal Lake would meet and exceed the growing demand that shows no signs of slowing down.”