If things go as planned, when Marshalltown Medical & Surgical Center celebrates its past 100 years in 2014, the community will also be able to see a part of its future.
Talks have been ongoing on the future facility work at the hospital as the board nears a hire of an architectural firm to provide a strategic master facility plan.
Many of the details of the future project have yet to be determined and that master plan will provide more clarity, said MMSC CEO Brian Burnside.
T-R PHOTO BY ANDREW POTTER
Marshalltown Medical & Surgical Center CEO Brian Burnside talks about plans for the future facility work at the hospital in his office earlier this week.
"The important thing is we are on the journey," Burnside said.
In the days ahead, decisions will be made on whether renovation or new buildings will work in the plans. Most likely some of the current facility will remain and new buildings will be built on the current hospital campus. Burnside said the possibility of a completely new hospital being built is low.
One of the hospital buildings on the west side of the campus was built in 1914 - with other main portions being built in 1926, 1962 and 1976.
"We have any number of inefficiencies that design into all this," Burnside said. "With the age of the buildings and their original designs, it really has created a number of patient flow inefficiencies, work flow inefficiencies and energy inefficiencies that are problematic for us over the long haul."
When much of the current facility was built, in-patient care was the norm so the need to stay was greater. Now with 70 percent of the care given at MMSC on an out-patient basis, the need for the hospital to be designed to provide more in-and-out service is greater, Burnside said.
"As we look to the future, the majority of our business now is out-patient and it's just going to increase in the years to follow," he said.
Burnside said funding for the project would come from three main ways - through hospital cash reserves, financing and community support. MMSC went through a round of management staff cuts last year, but it appears the hospital is on better financial footing in recent times.
Burnside said the board has been fiscally responsible through the years and has not taken on long term debt.
"Our balance sheet is very strong and that makes a project like this a potential reality," Burnside said.
Burnside said there are many benefits to improving and updating MMSC's facilities including better patient satisfaction and patient experience, physician recruitment and employee retention. It would also put a better "face" to MMSC in the community.
"A lot of the things that we are doing right now are really designed to set up the future of our facility," Burnside said.
There is no exact timeline for the project, but Burnside said more will come to light after the selected architect provides the master plan in August. He did say by the end of MMSC's 100th anniversary in late 2014, either a building will be done or construction progress will be evident.
"It's very exciting," Burnside said. "We have the opportunity to shape how healthcare is provided in our community for decades to come."