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Roper St. Francis leaders want new Berkeley Hospital to be perfect

The Roper St. Francis Berkeley hospital will soon make it easier for nearly 300,000 people in the Lowcountry to get medical care, according to the hospital’s CEO Scott Broome.

The 50-bed hospital will be built on Highway 17A just down the street from the Carnes Crossroads neighborhood.

Broome said the 2015 census data showed 200,000 people living within a 20 minute drive of the new hospital. He expects that number to be well above 300,000 in the next several years.

While an official groundbreaking will not take place until later this spring, doctors in West Ashley are busy making sure each room at the new hospital will be built perfectly.

Architects and designers have erected model emergency medicine, intensive care, and labor and delivery rooms to scale in order to show doctors exactly how Roper St. Francis Berkeley will be designed.

Broome said it allows healthcare providers to visualize everything from the hospital beds to where the nurses like their equipment and where family will stand.

“Right now it's a blank room and a blank canvas,” he said.

The artists are the healthcare providers.

“I think it's a great visual because I can see how my work flow is going to go,” said one nurse who toured the mock rooms with Broome. “If I'm going to be able to hook up my IV pole here and be able to dispose of my sharps.”

A team of doctors, nurses, and clinic managers will routinely tour each room to make sure placement is perfect, even down to the placement of hand sanitizer.

One feature of the new hospital is its expansive women's center with four large labor and delivery suites.

“We anticipate 700 to 800 births in the first year,” added Broome.

That’s why they want to make sure the suites are designed to maximize efficiency.

“Our philosophy with that is to identify things now and make changes now before the place is built,” Broome explained.

This design process will continue until caregivers settle on the perfect design of each room.

This will be the only hospital in Berkeley County. Broome said they expect more than 39,000 trips to the emergency room and 3,000 inpatient discharges in the hospital’s first year.

They expect to open in the summer of 2019.

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