Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center is planning to expand its pediatric care services. Here's what local families can expect from the Idaho Falls hospital's growing facilities.
In late January, EIRMC opened its pediatric intensive care unit, completing the full spectrum of intensive care units at the hospital, which can also treat critical patients in the neonatal and adult ICUs.
Director of Women and Children's Services Dixie Weber said the PICU allows for kids who would have had to be flown to Salt Lake City or Boise to stay within the comforts of home.
"So all (parents') infrastructure is still here, they're able to go to their jobs, they're able to have grandma and grandpa help them with their other children,” said Weber. “It's just taken a huge burden off of them."
The PICU is the beginning of pediatric care expansions. Pediatric surgical facilities is next on the list, but they are still in the early phase.
"I do see us looking much more toward general surgery, neurosurgery, orthopedic surgery and looking toward partnering on some of those surgical procedures that are handled very well in a pediatric setting similar to ours,” said Weber.
Weber said the pediatric surgical facilities are two years out, but hospital staff is actively planning for them. She says EIRMC now has the capability to treat simple pediatric surgical cases, but not more difficult ones.
"A complex trauma patient who is in a car accident with multiple injuries -- we're probably a ways out from being able to provide care to someone who is 12 and under,” said Weber.
The plan is to build a new tower above the NICU for women and children's services.
Weber said the plan is to make EIRMC more kid friendly by adding playrooms and special areas for children throughout the hospital.