Highland-Clarksburg's patient count over 50, climbing
09/27/2013 - The Exponent Telegram. By Jim Davis.
More than 50 children and adolescents have been treated at Highland-Clarksburg Hospital since the mental health facility opened last month, officials said Thursday.
Meanwhile, work on the hospital’s adult sections are proceeding according to schedule, and administrators and staff are busy securing licensing and accreditation for the provider, officials said.
“We’ve taken care of 56 kids since we opened on Aug. 19, mostly from this region,” Chief Operating Officer Eric Kennedy said.
The average daily census in the children’s and adolescents’ wing is about 13, which is in line with officials projections for this month, Kennedy said.
There are currently 71 employees, about 10 more than when the hospital first opened, Kennedy said.
The Charleston-based mental health provider plans to employ about 270 at its Clarksburg facility.
Meanwhile, one of the three floors that will house forensic, or criminally insane, patients is done, save for some general cleanup, said Mike Casdorph, Highland Hospital’s director of facility development and construction.
Workers are expected to finish another floor by Oct. 15 and the final floor by Nov. 15, Casdorph said.
A fourth floor for the general adult population should be finished by Dec. 15, Casdorph said.
“We still have to go through and get inspections done, but the construction will be complete by that time,” he added.
That’s pretty much right on schedule, if not slightly ahead, Casdorph said.
“We’ve got a good group (of laborers) working together to make sure they get the job done on time, on budget and with no safety issues,” Casdorph said.
R.C. General Contractors is in charge of the renovations to the former United Hospital Center.
The adult section includes security features already in place in the children’s wing — and then some.
There are the standard “psyche-safe” room fixtures that patients can’t loop anything around, metal ceiling tiles that lock into place and furniture that can’t be moved.
Additional safety features include an electronic patient-tracking system, secure areas and a security guard at nurses’ stations, Casdorph said.
Furthermore, staff members will accompany patients everywhere they go, Casdorph added.
Kennedy said plans are to open the forensic unit around Dec. 1 and the area for the general adult population in January.
A grand opening is planned for sometime in January, Kennedy said.
“We’re bringing it on in stages,” he said.
Administrators and staff also are working on acquiring licensing and accreditation for the hospital, Kennedy said.
The hospital is going through the state Office of Health Facility Licensure and Certification for its license to be in business, Kennedy said.
The Joint Commission will review the hospital for accreditation purposes, Kennedy said.
“October’s going to be a big month for us securing our license and getting our accreditation,” he said.