New emergency department to break ground at Coastal Carolina Hospital

OKATIE, SC (WTOC) - Coastal Carolina Hospital has a big project in the works for this year: a new, freestanding emergency department in Okatie.

The plan is to create a separate emergency room healthcare facility from the hospital. It's a relatively new concept that would be the first of its kind in the area. WTOC spoke with the hospital's CEO about his goals for this new facility, and what you can expect.

The goal for this proposed emergency department is to meet the needs of their patients without them having to go to the emergency room at the hospital. The $16 million one-story facility will serve as a freestanding emergency department that is separate from the hospital. It will be a step up from an urgent care center - open 24/7 with 12 hospital rooms. It is set to be located off of Highway 170 on Tide Watch Drive. Coastal Carolina Hospital CEO Joel Taylor says the facility will offer hospital-style care in an off-site location. This will serve two main purposes: providing more access for residents of the growing community, and relieving some of the strain on the hospital's resources. The emergency room saw 22,000 patients last year - a number that continues to grow each year.

"It really is a response to just capacity issues that we have here at Coastal Carolina Hospital, in addition to the growing needs that the community has. What people could expect is the same as they would expect coming through and ER. It's just a standalone emergency department, so same services that are available at an emergency department tied to, adjacent to a hospital," said Joel C. Taylor, Chief Executive Officer.

The project is still in the very early stages, but pending approval from the state, they hope to break ground in the next six to 12 months.

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