Rapides Regional Medical Center’s $12.5 million Emergency Department expansion is essentially complete.

Two years after work first began, and one year after the first phase of construction was completed, patients will begin utilizing the new additional exam rooms on Sept. 21.

“The opening of Phase II of our Emergency Department expansion marks a milestone in patient care in Central Louisiana,” said Jason Cobb, Chief Executive Officer of Rapides Healthcare System and Rapides Regional Medical Center. “The additional patient beds will be beneficial not only to our patients and their families, but also to our tremendous Emergency Department staff and physicians.

“This opening is another example of our commitment to this community and serving its needs.”

Phase II added to the footprint of the Emergency Department.

With its completion, RRMC’s Emergency Department has doubled in size by adding more than 16,000 square feet, making it one of the largest emergency facilities in the state. It now has 47 patient beds available, including four designated trauma rooms for the Rapides Regional Trauma Center, and four additional psychiatric rooms. RRMC also has increased staffing to meet the demands of the expansion and patient volumes.

High patient volumes in the RRMC Emergency Department necessitated the expansion. RRMC treated more than 72,000 patients in the Emergency Department in 2014, increasing to 77,000 in 2015. In 2016, RRMC is on pace to treat more than 85,000 patients in the ED.

Nearly 70 percent of the admissions to RRMC come through the Emergency Department.

The final phase of construction in the Emergency Department expansion is under way and involves interior work and should not interfere with patient care. It will add four more rooms.

Phase I of the expansion consisted of a new waiting area, reception desk, triage area and covered entrance.