Cox ER meets deadline day

Eric Olson, SBJ EditorToday is a huge day on the calendar of CoxHealth facilities VP Rod Schaffer and the construction crews swarming the new Cox South Emergency and Trauma Center. It marks the substantial completion deadline for construction, and last week I took a tour.

Amid painting, wiring, drilling, sweeping, hammering and caulking, SBJ Publishing President Dianne Elizabeth Osis, Associate Publisher Jennifer Jackson and I followed Schaffer, Dr. John Duff of Cox Hospital Service and John Archer, emergency department director, on the grand tour. We viewed all areas, from the open entryway and healing garden to the mechanical room and helicopter pads. It was a lot of ground to cover, considering the emergency department is tripling in size to roughly 60 treatment rooms and 80,000 square feet, with a full radiology department on site. And it felt every bit new and high-tech.

“In theory, it will probably be the most advanced ER in the country the day it opens – until they build something else,” Cox President/CEO Bob Bezanson said during lunch before the tour.

Here are my observations and facts from the emergency department tour:

• It is built to handle 115,000 annual visits; currently, CoxSouth addresses 60,000 ER patients.

• It would cost Cox $500,000 to apply for Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design certification, so officials have opted not to; they believe it would meet LEED-Gold standards.

• It includes a 911 room for which all 30 Cox board members donated funds to add to the plans; the system cost $50,000 and has a live audio/video link to the Greene County Office of Emergency Management.

• The 20-foot ambulance garage door opens in about 2 seconds and is triggered by a pressure-sensitive driveway track.

• It is designed with five color-coordinated pods (blue is for trauma care), each identical in layouts and placement of equipment and with motion-sensor lights.

• Ambulance garage also functions as a large shower with multiple ceiling showerheads in case of a mass decontamination situation (there’s also a roll-down curtain to separate genders).

• It is the third ER in the nation with a CT that can scan a child in less than 3 seconds.

• Current ER beds turn 7.2 patients a day compared to national average of three to four.

• Pneumatic tubing system sends containers holding blood, medicine or paper records throughout the hospital with a pass-code security system.

• Two new helipads (now five total) hold up to 12,000 pounds.

• CoxHealth has spent $120 million in construction projects the last two years and 90 percent of contracts have been awarded locally.

Grand opening public events are scheduled in late September.

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1 Response to “Cox ER meets deadline day”


  1. 1 Aaron Caudill September 6, 2010 at 9:30 pm

    I believe Cox was the first hospital in Springfield to get a certified Trauma center (1979), I know Cox was the first to get a Neuro-Trauma ICU, so I am not surprised they have a state of the art E.R.


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