Private rooms increase hospital admissions, cut adverse outcomes

A new all-private-room pavilion at Thomas Memorial Hospital in South Charleston, W.Va., is reportedly a success with admissions soaring 10 percent and patient infections, falls, and medical errors decreasing, said Thomas Health System President and CEO Steve Dexter in a Tuesday Charleston Gazette article.

The pavilion opened in the summer of 2010 with 96 private rooms in the surgical, obstetrics, and cardiopulmonary units and increased overall hospital bed capacity to 260, according to a Thomas Memorial informational brochure. The $70 million pavilion totals 164 thousand square feet.

"The new rooms are designed to be very accommodating to family--they're designed for a family member to stay overnight," Dexter said in the brochure.

The update to the hospital facilities have increased admissions in all but two months (December and January) in the past 10 months, according to the Gazette. For example, April admissions in 2011 were 17 percent higher year-over-year.

As other hospitals consider renovations at their own facilities, some may look at private room expansion and other amenities as a way to increase patient volume in profitable service lines, such as surgery.

For more:
- read the Charleston Gazette article
- check out the Thomas Memorial brochure (.pdf)
- visit the Thomas Memorial pavilion website