Since Dublin Methodist Hospital opened five years ago, growth hasn't stopped.

Since Dublin Methodist Hospital opened five years ago, growth hasn't stopped.

The OhioHealth hospital that celebrated its five-year anniversary at 7500 Hospital Drive last month has experienced higher than expected growth since it opened its doors to the Dublin community and has added new services every year.

"Almost everything has grown faster than we anticipated," said Bruce Hagen, hospital president.

"The community has really taken to Dublin Methodist," he said. "As we've matured over these five years, word of mouth has spread about experience here."

Numbers agree, as emergency room visits increased from 24,637 in 2009 to 33,613 in 2012.

New services have also supported growing numbers. In 2009, Dublin Methodist added spine surgery and two additional operating rooms. In 2010, foot and ankle surgery were added.

The expansions supported an 83-percent growth rate as the number of surgeries jumped from 3,259 in 2009 to 5,970 in 2012.

According to Hagen, some of the new surgery offerings were moved to Dublin Methodist from other hospitals.

"Spine surgery is very robust and that moved out of Riverside," he said. "We've also developed a foot and ankle center of excellence and moved it here to Dublin as well.

"Those were two pretty significant shifts in volume that really spurred some growth in surgery volume," Hagen said.

Dublin Methodist has also seen an increase in baby deliveries after the number rose from 1,159 in 2009 to 1,689 in 2012. That increase has led to the addition of eight new post-partum rooms and the expansion of the special care nursery that began construction this year.

"Maternity has been just word of mouth," Hagen said. "More and more people who have had their birth experience here at Dublin Methodist have really sought that out."

Even though growth, such as a heart and vascular diagnostic catheterization lab set to open this month, has been nonstop, it would be difficult to notice changes on the outside of Dublin Methodist, he said.

"Everything we've done up to this point has been in the walls of the institution, with minor exceptions," Hagen said, noting that some outside construction had to be completed to add Riverside Methodist's Radiation Oncology at Dublin Methodist in 2011.

When Dublin Methodist was built, it was done so with additions in mind.

"When we built the hospital we purposefully built about 25,000 square feet of shell space, knowing we would grow, but not how we would grow," said Cheryl Herbert, hospital president when Dublin Methodist was built.

"We assessed needs and have used shell space to grow in areas where a need presented itself," Herbert said.

More additions are planned over the next few years before Dublin Methodist must expand on the outside. But the hospital was built to grow on the outside, too.

"We've got a 20-bed shell space not built out yet," Hagen said.

"As we continue to grow inpatient volume, at some point in the not too distant future, we'll be looking at the build out of that unit.

"We're also looking for expansion of ORs in the existing building," Hagen said. "When that's done we'll be at full capacity for the building."

The growth Dublin Methodist has seen signals the need in the area, but it is also part of the job the hospital set out to do, he said.

Dublin Methodist must be a portal to other services within the OhioHealth network, Hagen said.

"Another major job is to bring programming here from other hospitals so people won't have to drive downtown to receive those services," he said.

"We're very proud of what we've been able to do in those regards and continue to look at new developments coming along."

Herbert credits location and services for the growth.

"I think it's a combination of its location," she said.

"It's a growing area of Franklin and Union counties and the population there is continuing to grow. I think that helps drive it.

"Patient experience at Dublin, as reported by patients that go there, is very good," Herbert said.

"I think another reason people come to Dublin is because of the physicians that practice there."