Humboldt General Hospital has expanded its telephone system. That's the good news. The not-so-good news is that all extensions at the facility have now changed to four digits. Darn. We were just starting to master the extensions from the last switch. We suppose that's one of the prices you pay for progress. When we began the expansion to make every patient room a private one, it wasn't long before we realized there weren't going to be enough phone extensions to go around. So began the switch to four digits. But like every change, this one has had its silver lining. For one, we've got a lot of leeway now as far as future expansion to the phones. For another, this switch has given us some neat options for local callers. For instance, the main menu now includes a one-button option for anyone with questions about a bill or about financial assistance. Another one-button option will route calls to the hospital's Quality/Risk Management Director for help with patient care issues. Of course, the idea of an automated system is to route callers through a computer so they can reach their destination more quickly, but for those who still long for a warm voice on the other end of the line, that option is available as well. Unfortunately, the new extensions will mean some back-and-forth for local residents. We'll begin publishing the new four-digit extensions in our coming literature, but we have a lot of brochures and newsletters and other things with our old extensions, so it will definitely be a transition. A list of the new extensions has been added to this website. On the home page, click on "What's New?" and then on the link for the list of updated phone extensions. Of course, anyone experiencing a medical emergency should always dial 9-1-1.