Janesville76.8°

Edgerton hospital to have fewer beds

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NEIL W. JOHNSON
April 22, 2010
— Faced with a decrease in inpatient demand, Edgerton Hospital and Health Services officials are scaling back plans for bed numbers at the new Edgerton Hospital.

Although work at Edgerton’s new hospital started last week, an official bed count and updated plans won’t be announced until a groundbreaking ceremony May 3.


Last week, citing Edgerton Hospital sources, the Gazette reported the hospital planned to downsize from 25 beds to 18.


This week, Edgerton Hospital spokeswoman Tracey Pederson verified plans for the new hospital are scaled back.


Pederson said the adjustments had nothing to do with Edgerton Hospital’s recently deepened partnership with SSM Health Care.


“The new affiliation doesn’t play into that decision.” Pederson said. “The hospital’s plans supercede the affiliation agreement.”


Pederson said hospital officials decided “over a year ago” to downsize the facility from the 25 beds originally planned, although she couldn’t immediately verify the date.


She said the plan was based on local trends in demand for inpatient care.


“Basically, the decision was based on patient volumes we’re now seeing. The idea was, ‘Let’s not spend money and have empty beds available when we can put money into something that we are going to be using,’” Pederson said.


Pederson said there’s less inpatient demand at Edgerton Hospital because larger hospitals in Janesville and Madison are equipped to handle cardiac surgeries and trauma. At Edgerton Hospital, the bulk of inpatient population is in recovery for minor surgeries or pneumonia, she said.


“(Patients) may come back here for cardiac rehab, for example, but we wouldn’t have an emergency surgery scheduled here,” Pederson said.


The current Edgerton Hospital sees an average daily inpatient count of 11 or 12, with a high of 15 on a “really, really busy day,” Pederson said. That leaves as many as half of Edgerton Hospital’s 25 beds empty every day.


The result is a space crunch in other areas of the hospital, like cardiac rehabilitation, Pederson said. Pederson said the hospital also is seeing growth in demand for outpatient services such as physical therapy, speech pathology and wound care.


“We wanted to plan to make sure that our new outpatient services will be expanded to meet those needs,” she said.


If inpatient areas at the new Edgerton Hospital become consistently overloaded, Pederson said, hospital officials could opt to add more space.


“That would be a fantastic problem to have. Where we’re located, we can add on beds should we need to. The hospital is designed that way,” Pederson said.



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