Expansion on the Rise
Lexington Medical Center Begins Construction on New Patient Tower
By Jenifer Wilson
Lexington Medical Center is expecting to meet the health care needs of the community for years to come with the largest hospital expansion in the state’s history. Construction is beginning on Lexington Medical Center’s main campus for a new, state-of-the-art patient care tower.
The 10-story, 545,000-sq-ft tower will add 71 inpatient beds to the hospital’s 414-bed facility on Sunset Boulevard. It will feature larger patient rooms, educational space for staff and community members, and enhanced dining options, as well as expand the hospital’s Labor and Delivery, and Mother/Baby departments.
Lexington Medical Center’s expansion project will deliver an even patient better experience for expectant families. Welcoming more than 3,700 babies each year, the hospital is consistently recognized as one of the best maternity hospitals in South Carolina. In fact, community members have named Lexington Medical Center as “Best Place to Have a Baby” for consecutive years.
The new Labor and Delivery unit will have a dedicated area for patients who come to the hospital in labor or those who need temporary evaluation. There will also be six antepartum rooms for patients who may need extensive long-term monitoring, a completely dedicated Mother/Baby unit for postpartum patients, Level 2 Special Care Nursery and a Newborn Nursery.
One of the best features of the new patient care tower will be the 20-bed Special Care Nursery. The hospital’s tiniest patients will have private rooms, which is a new model of care for Lexington Medical Center. Research has shown that private rooms for special care infants provide more bonding opportunities for mothers and their babies, offer a safe environment for education, lead to better outcomes for babies’ growth and lower infection rates. Lexington Medical Center will be the only hospital in the Midlands with private rooms for special care babies.
“As a Level 2 certified nursery, Lexington Medical Center delivers a lot of premature babies. In every hospital around South Carolina today, and pretty much around the country, these babies are kept in a typical nursery, which means that mothers often have limited access to their babies,” said Tod Augsburger, president and CEO of Lexington Medical Center. “In this new addition, we are building 20 patient rooms for babies that will accommodate their parents — they will have their own private space to spend time with their baby. We think it is an innovative addition to the community.”
In addition to women and children’s services, six floors of Lexington Medical Center’s new patient care tower will accommodate medical, critical care and surgical patients. Not only does the hospital operate the second busiest Emergency department in the state, it is one of the busiest surgical hospitals in South Carolina, performing more than 19,000 surgeries last year. Lexington Medical Center plans to add eight operating rooms in the new tower and expand its surgical recovery area.
Because of the growth of the hospital and its network of care, the expansion will also include Lexington Medical Center’s Pharmacy department, which provides services for the hospital’s inpatient departments, six community medical and urgent centers and more than 60 physicians practices. The 17,000-sq-ft space will accommodate an automated medication dispensing system and enhance compounding service capabilities.
Lexington Medical Center aims to create a cohesive medical campus that is convenient and accessible, so patients, visitors and staff will benefit from seamless connectivity between Lexington Medical Center’s new tower and the hospital’s North Tower. A new parking garage will add more than 950 parking spaces to the hospital’s campus, and a central energy plant will support the service needs of the new tower. The three-year project also includes the expansion and addition of support spaces, such as a physician on-call area, indoor and outdoor dining options, and an education conference center.
Expected to be complete in 2019, Lexington Medical Center’s expansion project will guide the growth and development of the hospital and its network of care as it works toward its mission — to provide quality health services that meet the needs of the community.