New hospital brings improved technology to Roane County

Roane Medical Center opened on Sunday morning, with 17 patients being transferred from the old facility to the new one.

Roane Medical Center opened to the public Sunday. (Source: Kyle Grainger, WVLT)

ROANE COUNTY, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Roane Medical Center opened on Sunday morning, with 17 patients being transferred from the old facility to the new one.

The county is home to Tennessee's newest hospital that cost $76 million to build. Crews spent Sunday morning shutting down the old facility and taking patients to the new hospital. The hospital administration said the hardest part was getting the new technology up and running with the new patient information.

"We actually started about a year ago. We had move teams and started thinking about the logistics of all of this," said Gaye Jolly, administrator for Roane Medical Center. "The patient move part is actually the least complicated the go live information of all the information systems that we have all new information system was actually much more complex."

Jolly and a staff of more than 90 people manned the entire operation from the hospitals command center. Working much like an emergency operations center, any problem on day one filtered through this post, with immediate answers to the problem.

Jolly says the new hospital has larger rooms for patients, more comforts for family members wanting to spend the night with loved ones, and the latest in technology.

"In fact we can capture a lot more information. we have scribes with us as well who can capture the information for us. So we can spend more time with the patient," said Dr. Bennie Whitehead, an ER physician at the hospital.

Whitehead and the other staff were learning how the computer systems worked on Sunday.

The hospital says the building was designed so there could be expansions in the future if needed.

The old building will be donated to the city of Harriman.

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