The Emergency Department at Christus Spohn Hospital in Beeville is undergoing major renovations to improve patient flow.

The project began this month, and is expected to last between six to nine months. It costs up to $1 million. The hospital is not expanding the Emergency Department outside of its current walls. Instead, they are renovating within the existing framework.

"This is another area that's going to be renovated," said Raymond Ramos, Vice President of Christus Spohn Hospital Beeville. "You can kind of see we have 10 rooms in our emergency room. The nurses station is right behind this door, which limits the visibility for our caregivers, so these walls are going to come down. The nurses are going to have a lot more visibility to these back ER exam rooms."

Ramos explained what the project will accomplish. A lot of the rooms will be redesigned, and the goal is to make the ER more patient-friendly, and the workflow more efficient.

The Emergency Department has seen a 15-percent increase in patient volume over the last year, and a lot of that is because of the Eagle Ford Shale boom.

Another complicating factor, according to Ramos, is that the hospital has to prepare for the oncoming Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare. Ramos said the hospital wants to make sure it's prepared to be able to handle the community needs, and the renovation project is one way of doing that, by improving its Emergency Department capacity.

Ramos said the renovations will improve patient safety and patient care.