SPRINGFIELD, Mass.Baystate Medical Center plans to launch a $259 million expansion project that will add about 560,000 square feet of space to the facility, officials announced. Officials with the 632-bed hospitalthe largest healthcare facility in western Massachusettsmust win approval from the state Department of Public Health for the project, which is expected to break ground sometime in late 2008. The project is expected to be completed in 2011 and will add about 550 permanent clinical and physician positions, officials said. The hospital is currently licensed for 653 beds. The expansion would increase licensed-bed capacity to 775. The project will ensure that we have the right capacity and the right environment for a growing population of patients at an aging facility, said Trish Hannon, chief operating officer of Baystate Medical Center and senior vice president of healthcare operations for its parent system, Baystate Health.
HOBOKEN, N.J.Bon Secours Health System, a 15-hospital system in Marriottsville, Md., transferred the assets of its 313-bed Hoboken hospital to the Hoboken Municipal Hospital Authority, effective Feb. 7. The authority issued $52 million in debt to finance the struggling hospitals operations, upgrade its emergency room and create cash reserves, said Bill Campbell, a spokesman for the city. The 144-year-old hospital, formerly St. Mary Hospital, was renamed Hoboken University Medical Center. Bon Secours no longer owns any New Jersey hospitals and is exploring a possible sale of its Michigan hospitals (Jan. 29, p. 14).
BURLINGTON, Mass.The Massachusetts Hospital Association released 2006 nurse staffing data, by unit, for each of the states acute-care hospitals. The voluntary reporting, published online, also includes unit-specific nurse staffing plans for 2007 and a list of additional personnel available in each unit during each shift. The Web site allows readers to compare the newly released 2006 data against the years planned staffing. Unexpected changes to patient volume or acuity were the leading reasons hospital units actual nurse staffing varied significantly from planned levels in 2006, said Paul Wingle, a spokesman for the association. Nearly 15% of hospital units reported actual nurse staffing came in at least 5% lower than projected need. Another 43% said actual nurse staffing in 2006 was at least 5% greater than planned. The remaining hospital units reported nurse staffing closely mirrored anticipated demand. Voluntary reporting to date includes data from 652 units and all Massachusetts acute-care hospitals. See the report: www.patientsfirstma.org/staffing.
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