White River Medical Center renovates emergency room - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

White River Medical Center renovates emergency room

BATESVILLE, AR (KAIT) -

The White River Medical Center's emergency room is expanding to hold more patients. 

The current emergency room can handle about 20,000 patients, but the nurses and doctors are actually seeing around 30,000 patients. 

The hospital has not renovated the ER since 1997. 

Renovations to the hospital will start in December and take about 15-17 months to complete. 

The new ER will be able to handle around 35,000 patients and will expand to 15,000-square feet. 

CEO Gary Bebow said these renovations will help the ER flow better and serve more people in the area. 

"We will provide better quality of care and so patients will come here and they will receive more timely care, in a better surrounding with better amenities," Bebow said. "I think overall we will do a better job in the quality."

The plans include renovating an adjacent area to the current ER, which is about 5,000-square feet and vacant right now. 

Bebow said the vacant area will be renovated first to be less invasive on patients.

Patients will then be moved to this area once it is completed and renovations on the current building will start. 

The hospital is using an internal contractor for the project. 

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