After just four years, JRMC looks to expand

Posted October 31, 2013 at 10:49 am

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PHOTO: Jones Regional Medical Center CEO Eric Briesemeister spoke about the hospital’s expansion plans during a recent Lunch & Learn session held in Monticello. JRMC plans to expand the facility to offer more services for residents in and around Jones County. (Photo submitted)

By Kim Brooks, Express Editor

Jones Regional Medical Center is looking to expand its facility and services. It was announced on Oct. 24 during the hospital’s Lunch & Learn event in Monticello, with CEO Eric Briesemeister giving the public an update on the hospital.

It was just four years ago on Oct. 10, 2009, when JRMC held its open house and dedication ceremony. In this short period of time, they are already seeing a need for expansion of services, which calls for additional space.

As part of the hospital’s master facilities plan, Briesemeister said the facility has already outpaced the 15-year plan when it comes to estimated growth.

In putting some preliminary plans together, Briesemeister informed everyone that the plans are not set in stone, just concepts they are considering. The plans have already been unanimously approved by the JRMC Governing Board, as well as at the regional level. Briesemeister said the plans would go before the UnityPoint Health Board on Dec. 3.

“I have a high level of confidence it’ll pass,” Briesemeister said. “There are a lot of great projects going on in the system.”

The JRMC expansion is estimated to cost around $10.3 million, noted Briesemeister. The idea is to expand the cardiac rehab center, as well as the physical, occupational and speech therapy areas.

“Having these services in the hallways is not ideal for patients and patient confidentiality,” voiced Briesemeister.

Currently, there is not enough room for surgical preparation and recovery. This department will be expanded upon as well.

“We hope to start designing and groundbreaking by late spring/early summer of 2014 and occupy the new facilities in 2015,” Briesemeister said.

With all of the new additions to JRMC, the helipad will be relocated.

While a public capital campaign has not officially kicked off, Briesemeister said they have started fundraising among hospital staff, with about $150,000 in place so far.

With positive news all around, the hospital certainly has seen a lot of growth in just four years. When JRMC was built, it was part of the Iowa Health System. This year, that changed to UnityPoint Health as a way to rebrand the system.

“It reflects changes in the care we provide,” explained Briesemeister. “It summarizes what we’re all about.”

After completing an initiative to evaluate the quality of care JRMC provides, Briesemeister said they’ve gone five months without a patient fall. In the months of May, June, July and September, JRMC showed no medical errors as well. In July, there were zero reports of hospital-acquired infections. In August, there were no readmissions.

“That’s something we’re excited about!” Briesemeister praised. He said at JRMC, they follow-up with their patients, calling them to make sure they have the medications they need and are seeing their physician for any complications.

“We want to continue to provide high-quality services.”

Across the board, numbers are climbing when it comes to patients visiting the ER, using the lab services and more.

“We’re among the top three busiest critical care hospitals in Iowa,” offered Briesemeister.

JRMC works closely with physician clinics in Jones County, including Monticello.

“We have high-quality physicians and are blessed with high-quality family practice providers,” expressed Briesemeister.

In terms of continued growth, JRMC was once again named in the top 40 fastest growing hospitals in the United States.

“This was our second year in a row on the list,” said Briesemeister. “We’re the only non-profit hospital on the list. It’s a testament to all of you using our services, our providers and staff we have.”

JRMC is an attractive place for physicians to come and work. They have a new emergency department physician, full-time hospitalists, additional urologists and pulmonologists, an occupational medical clinic and starting to look into telehealth services. Briesemeister explained certified practitioners could examine a patient online with a nurse in the room versus in person.

“This is in high-demand,” he said. “We’re currently evaluating the idea.”

To learn more about what JRMC has to offer, visit