Article from The Press-Enterprise

Riverside Community Hospital can now accommodate another 105 patients along with other additions included in its new seven-story patient tower.

Shortly after finishing that tower — which includes a new cafeteria, kitchen and a state-of-the-art laboratory in addition to 105 private patient rooms — Oct. 16, the hospital began work this month on a new emergency room expansion and renovation project

“It’s all about meeting the growing needs of our community,” said CJ Lee, vice president of business development for Riverside Community Hospital, as he gave a tour of the new tower. “When patients need a bed, we can get them a bed.”

The expansion from 373 licensed beds to 478 licensed beds is part of a $460 million expansion project that began in March of 2013.

It’s one of the largest investments in Hospital Corporation of America, the organization that runs the hospital, Cherie Crutcher, spokeswoman for the hospital.

The total expansion project included a three-level medical office building, a new parking garage adding 1,061 additional parking spaces, seismic retrofitting of the hospital’s existing patient tower and the addition of the new 7-story patient tower.

Each of the new rooms has floor-to-ceiling views of either downtown Riverside or Mt. Rubidoux.

“We want to make people as comfortable as we can, which helps the healing process,” Crutcher said. “Some people probably won’t want to leave.”

The rooms also feature tiled bathrooms with showers and a pull-out couch for guests.

And the computer nurses or doctors use to fill out patient information is strategically positioned next to the bed in a way that allows patients to converse easily with their caregiver.

“They normally use a rolling cart, but this removes any barrier, building a better connection,” Lee said.

In addition, the new patient tower opens space for the construction of four more operating rooms, including one for Transoartic Valve Replacement. That’s an advanced minimally invasive cardiac procedure to replace heart valves, Crutcher said.

As one of the largest Emergency Departments in the Inland Empire region and a level ll Trauma Center, RCH sees over 23,000 patient admissions a year, cares for more than 123,000 emergency patients and last year treated close to 750 stroke victims by the third quarter, Crutcher said.

About the expansion

What: An expansion of Riverside Community Hospital

When opened: Oct. 16

New beds: 105

Square feet: 285,000

Features: New cafeteria, kitchen and a state-of-the-art laboratory

Cost: More than $400 million

Read more about Riverside Community Hospital expansion