Biz Buzz: Twin Cities Community Hospital updates and expands its facility

Twin Cities Community Hospital in Templeton has announced it is updating and expanding its facility with $7.6 million in changes this year.

With 9,500 square feet of new construction, the additions include a diagnostic center, new equipment and additions to the medical and surgical wing for eight new beds.

The changes have been planned over the past five years, Chief Operating Officer Joe Badalian said, as ways to improve the atmosphere and better serve patients.

The construction activity opened up 39 local jobs through P-L Construction in Templeton.

Twin Cities, which opened in 1977, completed its last construction project in fall 2007 with a patient tower featuring 30 private rooms for obstetrics, intensive and telemetry care patients and 23 emergency room suites, including three trauma rooms.

The new equipment includes a portable building for a magnetic-resonance imaging system. Hospital officials say it cost about $220,000 to prepare the site, not including the machine.

Operating since September, the MRI system saves the hospital $300 per patient because it no longer needs to take patients by ambulance across the street to a private facility’s MRI, hospital spokeswoman Faye Fraser said.

Twin Cities also added a $465,000 mammogram imager with three-dimensional digital imaging technology. It’s one of two in California, according to Ralph Paterson, the hospital’s director of imaging services.

And about $800,000 has been invested in radiography and fluoroscopy imaging services to take pictures of the inside of the body, according to hospital officials.

The new diagnostic center is designed to combine radiology, cardiology, laboratory and respiratory services in a 4,700-square-foot area. It’s slated to open in March, hospital officials said.

The center cost just over $2 million and is designed to help patients cut down on walking time within the hospital by placing multiple services in one spot.

The space it’s built in was once home to the emergency room, which was moved to the new patient tower in 2007.

Now redesigned, the space will have reserved parking, three registration areas, a reception, five recovery beds, two blooddrawing rooms, two respiratory therapy rooms and multiple imaging and cardiovascular rooms.

Hospital officials also said that Twin Cities spent about $5.3 million to expand its medical and surgical wing. That part of the expansion — expected to be finished by October — is to be the last to debut.

There will be eight new beds, taking the hospital’s total bed count to 122.

— Tonya Strickland