Beaufort Memorial staff get first look at Pratt Emergency Center - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Beaufort Memorial staff get first look at new emergency room

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As Beaufort Memorial Hospital's staff gets a first look at new Pratt Emergency Center, crews continue to put the finishing touches on the $14.5 million renovation project. It's a project hospital officials say was necessary to meet the growing needs.

"The emergency room we had before was opened in 1996 and it was build to handle a volume of 22,000 people," said Kevin Kremer, Beaufort Memorial Hospital Emergency Room Director.  "Last year we saw 40,000 patients so we were way over capacity."

But now they have more space and equipment to treat more patients in a more private setting.

"It's about two and a half times the size, from 9000 sq. ft. to about 21,000 sq. ft.," said Karen Carroll, Beaufort Memorial Hospital Vice President for Patient Care Services.

The new emergency room is filled with 24 private treatment rooms and additional fast track patient care areas to treat patients who need infusions or short-term care.

"They won't have to be in a bed when they don't need to be in a bed and we can reserve that for those that do," said Carroll.

It also has two trauma rooms with state of the art equipment and technology.

"We designed the emergency department with the patient in mind so our whole flow pattern from how we've done things before has changed significantly," said Kremer. "It will take us a while to get it fully up to speed but we anticipate the patients will be seen by physicians quickly and ultimately have their visit in the ER shorter than in the past."

In addition, they now have a private family consultation room for patients and hospital staff to talk. This week, they dedicated the room to the hospital employees for contributing nearly $1 million to help build the new emergency room.

While the new emergency room isn't expected to officially open until January, Beaufort Memorial Hospital will give the public a sneak peak 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 16.

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