Hospital’s emergency department temporarily relocates entrance

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Following DHEC approval, Beaufort Memorial Hospital’s entire Emergency Department (ED) will begin moving Monday from its current location to a temporary location at the Cochrane Heart Center entrance to allow the renovation and expansion project to move forward.  The entire move will take a few days.
The temporary Emergency Department entrance will be used for EMS, walk-in patients and visitors. The patient assessment (triage) and Fast Track areas will be located on the first floor in a newly renovated space adjacent to the heart center lobby. The main patient treatment area will relocate to the second floor of the hospital. Private ambulances will drop off and pick up patients at the Birthing Center/Surgery Center entrance.
“We will have eight months of very tight quarters, but there’s no getting around it,” says ER Director Kevin Kremer, RN.  “We have to make room for the new construction to continue, so we’ll make the best of it.”
Kremer advises the public to be aware that parking around the temporary ER will be even more limited than it has been up to now.  He encourages people to remain patient, because space will be at a premium.  He also encourages people to limit the number of people accompanying a person to the ER to one if at all possible.
Upon completion of the construction project, the Level 3 ER will be expanded from 9,500 square feet to 20,500 square feet with 26 private treatment rooms — two of them trauma rooms, a decontamination room, and  a waiting area to receive test results.
A $1.5-million donation made by Beaufort philanthropist Dr. Bruce Pratt in honor of his parents provided the start-up money to launch the ambitious project. Last year, the hospital renamed the ER the George N. Pratt and Sarah Meyer Pratt Emergency Center.
In addition, major upgrades will be made to the hospital’s infrastructure, including increasing the capacity of the cooling system, which is vital to the operation of the advanced technology currently being used in the ER. Three new Caterpillar 800KW generator sets have been installed in a new power house, along with the latest in electrical switchgear technology.
The larger footprint also will allow for other hospital improvements.
“I think our doctors, patients and staff will be thrilled with the changes we will be making in the new facility,” said ER Director Kevin Kremer. “It will take us some time and inconvenience to get there, but we are very excited about it.”