After ShorePoint Health Venice closed its doors Thursday, Sarasota Memorial Health Care System went into hyperdrive to prepare for increased demand.
ShorePoint Health made the announcement last month citing the opening of a new hospital within 5 miles that led to a decline in patients, as well as other factors like rising labor costs and staffing challenges. Instead the organization will focus on outpatient services at its ambulatory campus, HealthPark, which will continue operating.
Since the announcement, SMH has been taking extra steps in preparation including:
- Adding more triage and treatment rooms to the the administrative, waiting and reception areas in the emergency care center.
- Hiring nearly 100 former ShorePoint employees, as well as other additional staff.
- Streamlining processes with its EMS and patient care teams.
- Expanding hours and diagnostic services throughout the network of imaging and outpatient centers.
- Adding outpatient rehabilitation services to the Blackburn Point location.
- Speeding up construction on a new 68-bed patient care tower and expansion of the emergency room, diagnostic imaging and surgery areas.
- Moving plans for a new hospital in North Port forward
“While the closing of ShorePoint Venice is concerning, we want to reassure the community that Sarasota Memorial is working hard to help fill any gaps in care that may ensue, while also providing jobs for as many displaced healthcare workers as we can,” David Verinder, president and CEO, says in a news release. “Even before ShorePoint’s announcement, we already had construction under way to expand capacity at SMH-Venice. We’re building a new patient care tower, and soon will begin expansion of our ER and operating rooms. These projects will take a couple of years to complete, but we are doing everything in our power to speed up construction.”
SMH operates two full-service hospitals in Sarasota and Venice as well as a freestanding ER in North Port. The organization also has a network of outpatient and urgent care centers that span from Manatee County to North Port.