Vanderbilt renovates hospital to accommodate Nashville’s growth

(Photo: WKRN)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – If you’ve driven past Vanderbilt University Medical Center in the past few months, you’ve no doubt seen the cranes.

There is currently more than 10-million square feet of building space before renovations and additions. With more people moving to the Nashville area, we need more doctors, nurses, and rooms at local hospitals.

“The growth of the city and the region has definitely spilled over into the hospitals. We’re not the only hospital to experience growth, annual growth in patient volumes. Here we have a unique set of circumstances that are in part driven by being the region’s level one trauma center,” said John Howser, Chief Communications Officer at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

(Photo: WKRN)

In the past year, about 124,000 patients went to the emergency room at Vanderbilt.

Howser said, “We have a very busy emergency department, adult emergency department, that can back up at times, and the reason it backs up is we have a shortage of available inpatient beds in the hospital. So the growth is to help accommodate the demand for services and help get some of our patients out of our emergency department into hospital rooms in a much more timely manner.”

So Medical Center East, a former clinic tower, is getting a big transformation.

“We’re converting multiple floors in here to inpatient bed space, so this will be new hospital rooms for adult patients,” Howser told News 2.

Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital is also expanding. Renovation of the fourth floor postpartum area and nursery will accommodate growth in the number of babies delivered at Vanderbilt, which is currently more than 4,600 per year.

There will be four additional floors and 85 more beds by the year 2019. That’s a total of 1,200 beds for both hospitals.

(Photo: WKRN)

They’re also expanding outpatient care to make things more convenient for patients. This year, there were 2.2 million outpatient visits.

“We’re in the process of opening an ever expanding list of walk-in clinics, so we now have six of those. We have after hours clinics associated with the children’s hospital. So these clinics open in the evening, and they’re open until 9pm for parents to take their sick children after they leave work,” said Howser.

The hospital is also undergoing a plaza renovation, creating a new roof for patient care area, and infrastructure space located on floors below.

You can expect all of the additions to be complete by early 2020. The development will also add to the more than 22,000 employees.

As you may know, Vanderbilt is a research and training hospital, and they’re also working on a new clinical research center.

Something else you may notice is the new Vanderbilt Health Clinics at Walgreens around Middle Tennessee. Fourteen of them just became operational a week ago.