HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - A local hospital is getting ready to make some major changes. Grand Strand Medical Center is working on a multi-million dollar expansion.
In an emergency, parents want to know the local hospital has enough room to give their family the care they need. The Grand Strand Medical Center is seeing such an increase in the number of people walking through its doors that it's adding another entire floor.
Over the past four years, the hospital has seen a nearly five percent increase in the number of patients every single year. This is such a significant jump that administration is spending $15 million to make a 15,000 square foot addition to the Heart Center building.
This expansion will cover a variety of treatments: pediatrics, medical surgery, and the intensive care unit.
The new floor will add 32 beds total to the 269 beds the hospital already has to offer. Grand Strand Medical Center is switching out what is now being used as the storage floor, and converting it to an area that can be used for handling more patients.
The Chief Operating Officer, Adam Rudd, said this kind of expansion is crucial to making sure the hospital can stay ahead of the curve. "We're on that growth trajectory," Rudd said. "And I think we're trying to plan ahead so we don't get in a bad crunch where we're always full. And we're starting to see that now."
The hospital says there is one specific area that needs to see a big improvement: the pediatrics unit.
One out of every five people that goes to get treated is under the age 17, so it's a growing group of patients the hospital wants to take care of.
The hospital recently opened up a pediatrics unit and that opened the floodgates for young patients. Right now, the pediatrics unit is filling to capacity, and administrators say this isn't unusual. It's because there's been such a lack of options for parents; you can either drive down to MUSC or head up to Duke.
Now the Grand Strand Medical Center wants to join the others by opening up a larger unit as part of a $15 million new floor expansion in the hospital's heart center.
This way, in an emergency, residents nearby have the option to stay closer to home.
Once the work gets started, there will be plenty of cranes and construction crews, and it will bring the Heart Center building up to four active floors.
The construction will last about nine months, and hospital administration expects to be able to open it to patients in May or June of 2015.