Reaching Out - Enhances Service Capabilities

Carolinas HealthCare System observed a major milestone during the summer of 2010 when 101-bed Carolinas Medical Center-Lincoln opened in Lincolnton. This marked the first time in CHS history that a new hospital had been built from the ground up to replace an older facility, the original Lincoln hospital having been built in 1969.

In the course of a single day in July, patients, medical records and staff were transferred to the brand new facility smoothly and safely. This was not altogether surprising, given that planning for the move itself started well over a year in advance.

Indeed, the design and construction of CMC-Lincoln – a $90 million, 182,000-square-foot community hospital – was so impressive that it garnered a “National Eagle Award.” This honor signifies the “highest level of achievement” in construction, as judged by the Associated Builders and Contractors of America.

The new hospital anchors a 64-acre medical campus that also includes a 40,000-square-foot medical office building housing surgery, orthopaedic, cardiology, urology and obstetrics/gynecology practices. A new landing pad allows air transport of patients with serious injuries or conditions.

Another highlight of 2010 was the start of construction on a new six-story bed tower at Carolinas Medical Center-Pineville. The tower will add 86 licensed beds to the current total and enhance maternity services, surgical services and intensive care. When completed, this construction initiative will account for six new labor and delivery rooms as well as two additional operating rooms. It also allows the intensive care unit to be expanded from five to 30 beds.

The addition of more beds and facilities at CMC-Pineville is part of a larger $270 million transformation that has been in progress for several years. The enhancements will enable the hospital to become a tertiary care center. This status recognizes a full spectrum of services that are among the most sophisticated available in any hospital. With tertiary status, CMC-Pineville will be staffed and equipped to perform even the most highly complex procedures, such as open-heart surgery and surgical oncology.

Lincolnton and Pineville were not the only communities to see major construction during 2010. In November, Roper St. Francis Healthcare, based in Charleston, opened a new 85-bed hospital in nearby Mount Pleasant. It features 24-hour emergency services, a 10-bed intensive care unit, modern labor and delivery rooms and a broad variety of inpatient and outpatient surgeries.

In center city Charlotte, Carolinas Medical Center and CMC-Pineville made significant enhancements to surgical services. Six new operating rooms were completed at CMC, including a state-of-the-art room for endovascular procedures, a new sterile processing area, and a new post-anesthesia care unit. At CMC-Mercy, innovations included the introduction of several new minimally invasive surgeries for women, as well as a virtual teaching program for surgeons that has an international following.

Work on a new pre-operative care unit and four additional operating rooms continued on schedule at year-end, with openings anticipated in early 2011. Surgical services at CMC continue to expand in volume and sophistication. The number of inpatient and outpatient procedures at CMC during 2010 totaled more than 30,000.