July 29, 2008

BroMenn Bringing Comfort to Patients, Suite Style

By Paul Swiech, The Pantagraph, Bloomington, Ill.

Jul. 29--BLOOMINGTON -- The two Bloomington-Normal hospitals no longer will be the only locations in the Twin Cities for patients to have certain surgeries that require overnight stays.

BroMenn Comfort & Care Suites is scheduled to open next March in The Center for Outpatient Medicine (T-COM) building, 2502 E. Empire St., Bloomington, said Sarah Gardner, T-COM business director.

BroMenn Comfort & Care Suites will be a post-surgical, recovery care center for up to 72 hours, Gardner said Monday.

The center -- which will cost about $1.2 million to build and equip -- will include three private patient rooms that will be built in renovated space at the northeast side of the T-COM building, Gardner said. The space had been used for a physician's office suite.

The 2,900-square-foot center will be for pre-screened, low-risk patients who have surgery at T-COM but who need an overnight stay for further observation and pain control, Gardner said. Surgeries will include hysterectomy, complex fractures and gallbladder, Gardner said.

Currently, these patients are cared for at hospitals, such as BroMenn Regional Medical Center in Normal and OSF St. Joseph Medical Center in Bloomington.

The center will be the seventh facility of its type in Illinois and received the approval of the Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board, said Sonja Reece, BroMenn Healthcare director of government affairs and property management. BroMenn is a partial owner of T-COM and has leased the space for the recovery care center, Reece said.

The service is viewed by the state as an alternative health care delivery plan and requires a state permit, Reece said.

Peoria and Champaign-Urbana are among communities with a recovery care center, she said.

St. Joseph spokeswoman Katy O'Grady-Pyne said, "OSF St. Joseph Medical Center does not have information on this project so we are unable to comment at this time."

Reece said recovery care centers are a trend and conceded that some business will move from the hospitals to BroMenn Comfort & Care Suites.

"BroMenn thought it would be better to be part of the planning -- to be on the cutting edge as far as our community is concerned -- for this new mode of treatment," Reece said.

"We think the patients will be pleased with this new option," Reece said.

The center will allow patients to recover in a setting that is more private and has less of an "institutional feel" than a hospital, Gardner said. The center will have its own entrance and staffing that will begin with two nurses, a medical assistant and a nurses' aide.


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