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Innovative Dublin Methodist Hospital Opens in January

It's been more than 25 years since a new hospital has opened in the Columbus area. That will change next month when Dublin Methodist Hospital begins to accept patients. The new facility is designed to reduce errors and speed treatment.

OhioHealth has been planning to build a hospital in Dublin since the late 1980s when it bought property along U.S. 33. Now after several years of construction the first patients will be admitted in early January. Registered Nurse Cheryl Herbert is the hospital's president.

"This community is actually a bit under served in terms of services that are located close to home," Herbert says. "Dublin Methodist is designed to be a community hospital."

It's also designed to help reduce medical errors that occur during treatment. The $150 million hospital has 32 examination rooms in the ER department which should cut emergency waiting room time. The rooms are arranged to speed up treatment and to reduce costs.

"They are laid out identically to one another so nurses and physicians don't have to think twice about where to find things in the room," Herbert says.

It's the same with the 94 in-patient rooms in the hospital; each is laid out identically to the others. And though each is a private room, it's large enough to accommodate family members at any time of the day or night.

"There is now overwhelming evidence that single bedded rooms both reduce medical error and help to prevent hospital acquired infections."

And Herbert says private room patients are more likely to communicate freely with medical staff.

"Patients are actually more likely to communicate more completely with their care givers if they're in a private room," Herbert says. "They're less likely to do so if they think someone they don't know can overhear what they're talking to their nurses and physicians about."

Herbert says court yards and a lobby filled with trees help soften the ambiance of an otherwise traditional hospital. There's a coffee bar where hospital registration should be. And there's a garden walk along the inside of the building that leads to the chapel.

More high tech systems include medical records that are kept electronically. Herbert says she expects the extra costs will pay for themselves.

"What we have found out incorporating everything that we have in this building is that our construction costs are 2 percent higher than a more traditional hospital facility would be," she says. "Those charges do not get passed along to patients. The return on that investment is that we will spend less taking care of patients who otherwise might have acquired an infection or had a medical error.

If Dublin's population continues its rapid growth, OhioHealth officials say Dublin Methodist can be expanded from 94 to 300 rooms.