ST. CLOUD -- After months of construction and patient confusion, phase one of the St. Cloud Hospital Emergency Trauma Center remodel is just about finished.

Paul Schoenberg is the director of the hospital's emergency trauma center and says phase one is meant to increase safety for patients and staff and begin improvements to the hospitals efficiency.

"Prior to this entrance that's going to open, we only had one small door on the side of the hospital that brought ambulatory patients into the emergency department," says Schoenberg.

The renovations include a new patient drop-off entrance (with heated driveway), new check-in desk and waiting room, a children's play area, behavioral health emergency rooms (which will be finished in February) and three immediate waiting rooms to provide rapid care for patients.

"So part of that efficiency we talked about, our staff are able to get to these three rooms from the check-in desk and provide care to those who don't need to go all the way into the emergency center," says Schoenberg.

Schoenberg says they have an early start with phase two, with official work beginning in April.

"Phase two will complete our transition from our old ER to the one you can see the beginning of here in our new trauma center," says Schoenberg.

Reconstruction for phase one and two is estimated at around $14-million. Schoenberg says while the last several months have been confusing to patients, they hope this is the step in the right direction in better patient care.

"It will be great to have this open and be very visible to everybody," says Schoenberg.

The new emergency trauma center entrance will be open on Wednesday. The third phase of the project is expected to be completed in early 2018.


New Emergency Trauma Center entrance at St. Cloud Hospital (Photo: Alex Svejkovsky, WJON)