Cedartown- Polk County Hospital Authority spent their May meeting discussing the latest updates to the board on what’s happening at Polk Medical Center through the end of the month.

Hospital Administrator Matt Gorman reported that among other things, the hospital undertook a regional exercise to test the response skills of doctors and nurses within the facility.

The May 10 exercise, Gorman said, included Floyd Medical Center in Rome, Tanner Medical Center in Carrollton, and several others in Region C in a response to simulated patients coming in by ambulance for immediate treatment.

“Do these periodically to prepare ourselves for an actual emergency,” he said. “We take simulated patients through the process of stabilizing and treating what is wrong with them based on what they say happened to them.”

He said hospital officials learned much from the exercise, and doctors and nurses performed well during the event.

Gorman also reported on another successful year of showing off student art work within the hospital. The exhibit which showcased art from local students hung in the Polk Medical Center main corridors from March through May, and held a reception for participants earlier in May.

“That was the second time we’ve done it, and we were proud to get to show off the talents of our local students here at Polk Medical Center, and look forward to doing so again next year,” he said.

Meanwhile, officials also got updates on the latest patient figures finalized for April.

Right now, Polk Medical Center is experiencing what they consider the slower months, a time during the summer when admissions to the emergency room and inpatient care tend to flatten in comparison with jumps during the fall through spring, when flu season accounts for a greater number of people needing care.

“Typically we experience more of a spike in the number of patients we see when we’re in cooler weather months, and then level out during the warmer months,” he said.

For April, the number of patients being admitted to the emergency room was at 2,409, which is down slightly from March’s figure of 2,544. The number of inpatient admissions was flat at 86 for the month of April, unchanged from March’s tally.

Figures for 2016 have so far retained a steady increase over the totals seen in FY 2015, which sat at 28,714 patients seen in the emergency room. As of the April reports provided by the hospital, the total for FY 2016 sits at 28,303.

Polk Medical Center has already topped their total figures for inpatient treatment, standing at 989 for FY 2016 compared to the 803 admitted in FY 2015.

Those figures will remain high despite the need for hospital officials to block off a few more patient rooms for an ongoing bathroom remodeling project started earlier in the year.

Gorman said work is nearly completed on making some changes and improvements to the showers, sinks and toilets within the rooms, but mainly focusing on the showers.

“As rooms come open, and we get a few that we can block at the same time, we’ll have the contractor come in to finish up the work,” he said.

Renovations are still underway on the Medical Office Building to provide a suite for hospital administrators as they get ready to move out of their old office space.

Gorman said contractors are still finishing up the interior spaces in the area, and should be done in the next 3 to 4 weeks if there are no unexpected delays.

The administrative suite in the medical office building will replace current offices used by staff within the hospital itself, giving more room for expanding physical therapy services in a general shift of office space once the suite is completed.

More work will have to be done to expand the physical therapy gym once the movement of departments gets underway.

Though always part of the overall plan, Gorman had said previously that they moved up the timetable on building out the suite for administration, but didn’t expect it to be needed until after the first three years of Polk Medical Center’s opening their new facility.

However, increases in the number of patients coming in who need physical therapy services forced the hospital to move up their plans and shift the offices now.