SUMTER, S.C. — The long-awaited expansion of the emergency department at Prisma Health Tuomey Hospital is about to get underway.
Hospital administrators announced on Wednesday, September 1, the $15.7 million project will add 13,000 square feet to patient care areas, 13 new patient rooms, and newer technology and equipment.
According to administrators, the hospital's emergency department was originally designed to accommodate 43,500 patients a year but routinely averages closer to 53,000 annual visits. The COVID-19 pandemic pushed the number to 55,000.
The 13 additional patient rooms should allow for emergency care for more than 65,000 patients per year.
"We’ve worked in a space that’s been small for the volume that comes here for some time and the design of the patient flow through the department should be far superior to what we have," Physician Executive Dr. Scot Dilts said. "We think it’s going to have a very positive effect on the patients that seek care in our emergency department.”
In a statement, Tuomey Hospital Chief Nursing Officer Susan Gaymon added, “It will offer better patient flow, a quicker triage process and should drive wait times down significantly.”
Jean Meyer, the hospital’s interim chief executive officer, said, “This expansion follows nearly $50 million in previous investments by Prisma Health that include major infrastructure upgrades, new equipment and the recruitment of new physicians representing a variety of specialties.”
The expansion project will be completed in two stages, with groundbreaking ceremonies planned for next summer. The first phase of new construction should be completed by summer 2023 with phase two renovation of existing spaces completed by spring 2024.