MUSC presents its future Black River Medical Center at Cades | Local News


GIFTSCS – When the new MUSC Health Black River Medical Center opens in January, it will be one of the most technologically advanced hospitals and offer more services than the hospitals it will replace combined.

On Thursday morning, Williamsburg Regional Hospital CEO Allen Abernethy gave a tour of the very much in progress facility on US 52 between Lake City and Kingstree to media representatives from the Pee Dee area.

Abernethy, as he led the tour, enthusiastically described features not currently available at any of the hospitals he will replace – Williamsburg Regional Hospital and Lake City Community Hospital.

“We will open the doors with services not available to the community,” he said. “Some of them would be 3D mammography, MRI, in some cases surgical services and specialties. We will be opening with more services than either hospital has combined at this time. And we let’s grow up.”

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In raw numbers, the facility will have approximately 64,000 square feet of space, a 16-bed emergency department, a 25-bed inpatient wing, two operating rooms, a procedure room, an in-house pharmacy , a café that will double in off-peak hours as a fully connected digital meeting room and a full range of imaging and laboratory services.

“The design of this facility is patient-centered, patient-focused, and designed to be efficient for the staff and care team here,” Abernethy said.

Patient rooms are designed for nurses and include gas flow controls offset to one side of the bed so nurses do not have to lean over patients to adjust oxygen flow.

One of the inpatient rooms is designed for oversized people and includes a ceiling-mounted crane to help staff lift the patient as well as larger doors and a specially designed bathroom.

Two of the emergency department rooms are designed for mental health patients and allow for security and monitoring. A decontamination area is located right next to the emergency department where patients and responders can clean themselves before entering the hospital.

The center has an inpatient room which Abernethy says is not an intensive care room, but allows for an increased level of care compared to other inpatient rooms.

The facility was designed virtually through online teams and meetings and is designed to be efficient.

“Because of that, we were able to bring together leaders from Kingstree, Lake City, Florence and Charleston to really build this thing in a way that was really conducive to patient care,” Abernethy said.

“It’s part of a program we’ve been involved in to make sure all storm drainage is appropriate for this facility,” he said. “There is a certain percentage of recycled materials, all the lighting is LED, all AC is appropriate to make this an efficient installation.”

Abernethy said the hospital system conducted community health needs assessments to decide who to include in the new facility which is also set to expand.

What growth is, he said, will be determined when the time comes.

“We’ll go where care tells us to go when we grow up,” Abernethy said. “I think what MUSC represents for this community is stability, technology, and easy access to telehealth, access to specialties, and then access to a statewide network. “

“It’s a project that I felt was badly needed,” he said.

Digital Editor Matt Robertson is a seasoned journalist who has filled just about every newspaper role and is now a key member of the Morning News newsroom maintaining and occasionally covering news stories and pictures.


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