Sarasota Memorial Hospital-Venice (SMH-Venice) in Florida is to begin a $90m expansion project to enhance its emergency care and surgical capabilities.

Scheduled to be completed by December next year, the expansion will increase the number of exam rooms at the Emergency Care Center (ECC) from 28 to 62, including four resuscitation rooms.

Additional radiology rooms and space for a CT scanner will also be incorporated into the ECC to improve diagnostic capabilities.

To address higher-than-anticipated surgery demands, the number of surgical suites at SMH-Venice will increase from six to eight by the end of the year.

The project will also create room for an additional eight operating rooms in the future.

In addition, the ongoing construction of a five-storey patient care tower will almost double the hospital’s bed capacity from 110 to 212.

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The patient care tower will be opened in phases, with the first phase due to start in April next year.

The expansion project aims to meet the rising healthcare demands of Florida’s South County region, driven by SMH-Venice reaching full capacity shortly after its November 2021 opening and a subsequent surge in emergency care visits.

In addition, the unexpected closure of ShorePoint Health-Venice last year has emphasised the need for expanded services at SMH-Venice.

SMH-Venice campus president Sharon Roush said that no obvious impacts on patient flow or operations at the hospital are expected once the exterior wall has been taken down.

Roush said: “It is an active construction site, so some noise from heavy equipment and power tools is inevitable.

“But we are working closely with our contractors and implementing a number of soundproofing measures to help block noise from entering the building.”

Sarasota Memorial Health Care System serves more than one million patients a year across its two hospital campuses and freestanding emergency room, as well as its network of outpatient and urgent care centres.