CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Roper St. Francis Health Care is opening its new 24/7 emergency room and diagnostics facility near the Northwoods Mall on Wednesday afternoon.
The opening comes just days after the healthcare company closed the doors of its longtime location at the mall. But, a patient doesn’t have to go far to find the new spot about a mile away.
The new 12,000-square-foot facility is 4,000 more square feet than the last. In it, there are 10 exam rooms, but Roper also built four additional ones to have room for expansion down the line.
According to Dr. Daniel Lewis, the medical director at Roper Northwoods Emergency Department, each of those rooms is bigger than the ones they have now.
“I think all in all we are going to decrease the time, the visits, and the length of stay the patients are going to have in the emergency department,” Lewis said. “That should make for a more comfortable environment in general."
Nurses will also be getting a little more space with the construction of a larger nursing station, which is made of windows, so the staff will have the capability to see into all the exam rooms without leaving their station.
"When you try and do things in such little, tiny space, you can't have the resources that you need,” Joy Huntington, Roper's director of emergency services, said. “With having a little more space to spread out and provide those resources, it'll make the job for the nurses so much easier, it'll make the care of the patient so much safer and so much more complete.”
A lot of equipment has also been upgraded from a brand new CAT scan machine to purchasing digital x-rays. Elisa Cooper is Roper’s director of facility management, and she said they’ve been looking to move for a few years.
“Back in 2015 and again in 2016, the current location flooded. We were shut down for 66 days both times,” Cooper said. “After the first flood, we made the decision that we didn’t want to risk it again, so we went looking for property in the community.”
That’s when they acquired 7832 Rivers Avenue, which in the past was home to a Wild Buffalo Steakhouse and a seasonal Halloween store.
The new facility is set to open at 12 p.m. Wednesday.