SSM Health hospital doubles ED capacity

SSM Health St. Joseph Hospital in Wentzville, Mo., has expanded capacity in its emergency department as the county's population grows. 

St. Charles County has seen a steady increase in the number of residents over the years, adding nearly 2,900 residents last year, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. The hospital has 77 inpatient behavioral health beds, and also offers outpatient services including imaging and primary care. Its emergency department — which is open 24/7 — provides care for both general medical and behavioral health patients and now operates with 14 beds.

 Prior to the expansion, the emergency department had seven beds for both groups of patients. 

"Anytime there's population growth, there has to be infrastructure there to support it," Jake Brooks, president of SSM Health's facilities in Wentzville and in St. Charles (Mo.), told the news outlet. "You need education, you need healthcare, you need public services." 

The expansion enables staff to care for behavioral and general patients in separate spaces. 

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