LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A $15 million expansion of Hardin Memorial's Emergency Department was supposed to officially open Wednesday, but hospital officials said the last section of the project is not ready for patients.

Construction is finished on the final part of the more than three-year project, however, Assistant Vice President of Emergency Services Deanna Parker said the delay on finishing it is out of their hands.

"Weather has been a challenge, trying to make sure we can get finishing touches with some of the vendors and all of those things that make it a really nice package for our patients," Parker said.

Hospital administrators didn't want to move the staff and get them used to the new space while they are so busy with the cold and flu season.

“We've also been experiencing a lot of flu patients, and so you really have to take all of that into consideration,” Parker said. “We want to make sure we're doing the best that we can for our patients."

Hospital staff has been using much of the space for months.  

“We are moving from 27 exam rooms to 65 exam rooms," Parker said. "We have doubled the square footage."

The rooms should have plenty of patients since the hospital is now has the fourth-busiest emergency department in Kentucky.

"We saw over 72,000 patients last year, and that just continues to go up," Parker said.

A new layout will make it easier for the staff to monitor patients, four triage rooms will allow them more space to assess patients, and security will now be outside the department door.

"We've got state-of-the-art technology," Parker said. "We've got digital X-Ray and CT Scan in the department now, which gets lifesaving testing done seconds away from when the patient arrives."

The expansion is expected to be fully open by the end of the month.

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