VICTORVILLE - Desert Valley Hospital announced Tuesday detailed plans for a major expansion from 83 beds to roughly 150 beds.
Beginning this summer, the hospital will begin expanding its emergency department.
Additionally, the hospital will break ground on a new, 50,000-square-foot wing in January 2008.
The addition will include 53 new patients' rooms, 12 new intensive care unit rooms, two cardiovascular cath labs, an open-heart surgery center and a cardiology nuclear medicine diagnostic system.
Cardiovascular cath labs and nuclear diagnostic systems provide doctors with improved, quicker ways of identifying where blood flow and heart function are failing.
The hospital is the flagship of Prime Healthcare, Dr. Prem Reddy's rapidly expanding hospital management company. In the last two months, Prime Healthcare has secured approval to acquire hospitals in Anaheim and National City, which will grow the company to a total of nine hospitals, all in Southern California.
St. Mary Medical Center will remain the largest hospital in the Victor Valley. It currently has 186 beds and plans to build a new facility in west Victorville that will initially have 100 beds.
Victor Valley Community Hospital has 115 beds.
Although not the largest hospital in the Victor Valley, Desert Valley claims the most patients per bed capacity in the area.
One reason for this is that Desert Valley's emergency room has far fewer "saturation hours," when the ER is full and new patients must be diverted to other hospitals, according to statistics provided by Prime Healthcare.
One consequence of being open more of the time, Dr. Reddy pointed out, is that the hospital serves more indigent patients than St. Mary or Desert Valley.
Dr. Reddy credits an emphasis on "patient-focused pathways" as the secret ingredient that makes his hospitals successful.
They are guides that direct doctors toward the most effective treatments, saving time and moving more patients through the hospital.
The first hospitals he acquired, Chino Valley Medical Center and Sherman Oaks Hospital, were both in financial distress but have since been turned around, paying off their debts and producing profits.