LITTLE RIVER, SC (WMBF) - Big changes are coming to McLeod Seacoast Hospital in Little River.
The emergency department at the hospital is expanding to include 13 exam rooms. The expansion more than doubles the number of rooms the facility currently has.
The expansion will make a huge difference in the amount of time patients will have to wait to see a doctor an emergency.
Another part of the expansion is a fast track area, which is something administrators say many hospitals are starting to open.
The fast track area is for less-complex emergencies. It's designed for patients to move through quicker, so healthcare providers can determine the appropriate level of care.
Many times patients walk in with flu or cold symptoms and aren't sure whether it's an emergency.
With fast-track care, serious emergency patients aren't left waiting for extended periods of time.
Hospital administrators told WMBF News the number of patients treated each year continues to grow, and the expansion is a necessary addition.
"We don't have the capacity now to meet the demand in the community," says Dick Tinsley, the Administrator at McLeod Seacoast Hospital.
"We're going to build that capacity here now. Having more emergency department examine rooms here is gonna help us in our output, make sure people don't have to wait as long, and also give us the capacity to grow here."
Tinsley says the expansion will mean more than just better healthcare; when industry is considering coming to a community, bringing jobs and a boost to the economy, having top notch healthcare can be a deciding factor in whether or not they choose the area.
At the end of the day their job is about providing healthcare to you and your family. And right now, the hospital can accommodate a small amount of trauma patients.
"If we were to get a lot more patients now, we just wouldn't have a place to put them," Tinsley says.
And many times, trauma patients go to Grand Strand Medical or up to New Hanover. But the hospital will be adding two trauma rooms. "With this new expansion it'll give us the ability to ramp up our trauma services and become a level 3 trauma center."
Tinsley says this is just the beginning- once the emergency department is finished next fall, they've got early plans to continue expanding the hospital which means more jobs and better healthcare for your family.