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Lee Memorial Health System Moves Forward With "Bedless" Hospital

Courtesy Lee Memorial Health System

Note: Audio to come.

Lee Memorial Health System is preparing to build a hospital without beds. The company bought land in Estero about a decade ago. It was originally intended to be an 80-bed facility. But, the state denied its plans. Now, the plans have changed. 

The campus will be called Lee Memorial Health System at Coconut Point. It will have primary and specialty care physicians, an emergency room and a healthy life center – among other things.

But, no beds for admitted patients.

Director of Special Projects Suzanne Bradach said the state denied Lee Memorial’s original plan because it said they needed to use their current campuses to their fullest extent.

Bradach said with the emergency room, most people can be treated and released. Lee Memorial is also talking with EMS.

“So that they know when they do their assessment in the field if the patient needs to go directly to a hospital or can come directly to the free-standing emergency department,” she said.

Bradach said they also want to use technology to improve their processes like allowing patients to access their records from home.

She said although the center will have no beds, they’re designing it in such a way that it would still be an option to add them.

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Topher is a reporter at WGCU News.