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Last updated: August 24. 2013 10:49AM - 77 Views

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BLUFFTON — Blanchard Valley Health System opened its doors to the healthy Sunday, providing tours of its new emergency room and surgical facilities.An estimated 150 people lined up to see the progress made in the hospital's $12 million building and renovation project, which includes the pharmacy, physician offices and other support areas of the hospital.Chief Administrative Officer Bill Watkins said he still expects the project to be completed late this year or early 2012. “We're still right on time, right on budget,” he said.Although visitors were not able to see more than the first-floor facilities, Watkins said he felt the hospital should host an open house to thank the community while it was still possible to allow access. “The main thing though is, right now, being able to show folks,” Watkins said.People shuffled into the ER lobby in groups of 10 before being led through a series of hallways and staff rooms for a tour. One of the highlights of the new ER were six private examination rooms.“Before they just pulled the curtains between the two patients,” said former hospital volunteer Dean Sommers. “I think private rooms in the emergency [room] is a big improvement.”Sommers, a Bluffton resident, volunteered for 10 years at the hospital and said the increased privacy for patients was probably one of the greatest improvements.Another change to the emergency room operations puts the emergency doctor in the same area, rather than the main part of the hospital. The hospital's surgical facilities also received an upgrade, with a new sterilization room and operating equipment, among other things.An operating table with a price tag of $39,400 still viewable to visitors sat alongside a $16,900 anesthesia machine, $8,600 cardiac monitors and $67,200 lights and booms. The spacious room was further equipped with various surgical machines that will enable the hospital to increase the number of surgeries performed.Pearl and Murray Wideman, of Ontario, were visiting Bluffton resident Louise Wideman, and all three toured the renovated facilities. Murray Wideman said the hospital was similar to one he visits in Canada.“It's a lovely facility,” he said regarding the Bluffton Hospital.Louise Wideman, associate pastor at Bluffton's First Mennonite Church, said she visits the hospital often for work and thinks the renovations are a great addition to the hospital. She said the hospital has always provided good care, but the privacy of individual emergency rooms and new surgery equipment were welcome improvements.“It's a wonderful addition, to know that there are more facilities for surgeries,” she said. “Just gives a little more confidence I think to the community to know that they're fully equipped to be able to handle any kind of emergencies that come along.”You can comment on this story at www.LimaOhio.com.






Hospital hosts tour of renovated facilities


Hospital hosts tour of renovated facilities


Hospital hosts tour of renovated facilities
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