Presbyterian Hospital celebrates 15-bed expansion
by Staff Writer
Presbyterian Hospital Huntersville held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to introduce its expanded facility to the general public Sept. 12.
“We welcome the community to tour our new state-of-the-art addition,” Tanya Blackmon, president of Presbyterian Hospital Huntersville, said in a press release regarding the unveiling. “Presbyterian Hospital Huntersveille is proud to serve the residents of the Huntersville and Lake Norman area, and we are excited to open our new expansion to serve the needs of our growing community.”
Presbyterian Hospital Huntersville is a private, not-for-profit medical facility under the Novant Health umbrella. It was founded in 2004 to serve the needs of patients in the north Mecklenburg County and Lake Norman communities.
In May 2008, Presbyterian Huntersville applied through the Department of Health and Human Services for a Certificate of Need – part of a state law aimed at controlling health care costs by requiring providers to seek approval prior to adding to their facilities.
“Really the town of Huntersville is what brought the expansion about,” Director of Professional and Support Services Kathi Robinson said. “Their support for our facility, and just the growth.”
With only 60 beds available for in-patient care, the need was evident.
“We were at capacity most days,” Robinson said, “Meaning that we have more patients than we can put in a bed. They were still receiving the same remarkable care, it just wasn’t always in your traditional patient room.”
Following DHHS approval, the hospital went into the planning and development stages before construction began some three years later.
The $26 million expansion took about a year from groundbreaking to completion, and received its occupancy certificate on Aug. 23 – three months ahead of schedule. The project added 55,000 square feet to the hospital, bringing its total square footage to 266,890.
The new section, which will begin taking patients Sept. 16, features 13 new beds in areas of general medicine and two beds in the women’s service area. Additional doctors and support staff will be added to facilitate the new area, although the exact number of new personnel is not yet known.
The rapid population growth in the Huntersville area continues to stretch the limits of the current medical facilities available, thus making future expansions inevitable.
“Whatever the needs of the community are is where we will look to expand next,” Robinson said. “We are actually right now expanding our breast services, and will be opening a full-service breast center in November. So we are continuing to grow.”
In addition to the expansion project, the hospital developed a number of systems to help improve patient care. Among them are nurse servers – cabinets placed outside of patient rooms that move the supplies closer to the actual patients that are being served. This way, nurses spend less time hunting and gathering supplies.
Nurse huddles throughout the expansion will also operate as “mini nurse stations,” Robinson said. Although one main nurse station will still exist and will act as a central command center, the huddles will provide the caregivers with workspace closer to the patients.
“One thing that’s really unique about this project is that we’re aiming to transform health care,” Amy Marsh, marketing and public relations specialist for Novant Medical Group, said. “Part of that is having the nurses spend more time at the bedsides of patients than the national average. The design of the hospital has really incorporated some elements that’ll make it easier for nurses to free up time so that can spend more of it with the patients.”
For more information on the hospital and its expansion project, visit www.