Hospital back online following fire

Three weeks after a fire in the power room knocked out electricity at Haywood Regional Medical Center, the hospital is fully open and accepting patients. The hospital had already opened its emergency department and business offices back up on June 30 after getting a double generator backup system in place but had to hold off accepting inpatients until getting back on Duke Energy power. 

“We are incredibly pleased with the pace of this process,” said Janie Sinacore-Jaberg, the hospital’s president and CEO. “I said all along that we weren’t going to rush it, and we didn’t. We did everything correctly, methodically and in a very organized way.”

The hospital accepted its first inpatients following the fire on July 10. Because the length of stay for most inpatients is on the short side, patients who were transferred to neighboring hospitals during the closure are not being transferred back, said Christina Deidesheimer, director of strategy and marketing. 

“I don’t believe that we transferred back any patients from other facilities,” she said. “The length of stay for most patients is pretty short, so most likely most of these patients that we have [moved] have been discharged.”

The hospital has not yet finished negotiations with the insurance company, so there’s no word yet on how much of the lost profit from the closure a claim might recoup. There’s also no verdict yet on what caused the fire in the first place. 

“That investigation’s still ongoing,” Deidesheimer said. “We wish these things would happen within a couple weeks, but unfortunately they take quite a long time.”

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