On July 14, Anson Community Hospital will discharge its last patients, and the new Carolinas Healthcare System Anson will begin a new era of health care in Anson County.
The healthcare model for the new hospital is a first of its kind, not only in the state, but in the country, said Gary Henderson, assistant vice president for Carolinas Healthcare System Anson.
In addition to reducing the likelihood that Ansonians will use the Emergency Department as a primary care physician, Henderson said the hope for the new hospital is to also improve access to care for the entire community. “It’s the first hospital of its type in the country to have a combined ED and primary care in the same space,” he said.
Carolinas Healthcare System Anson will also provide primary care through physicians located in the hospital, in addition to round-the-clock emergency care. Once a patient enters through the main front entrance, which is the only entrance other than the ambulance or helipad entrance, three staff members will be at the front registration desk. From there, patients will be directed to a triage room, where a nurse practitioner or physician assistant will determine whether the patient should be seen in the ED or seen by a primary care doctor.
The new facility contains 10 ED exam rooms on the left side of the building, and 11 primary care exam rooms on the right. Henderson said because mental health remains one of the primary concerns in Anson County, one of the ED’s exam rooms is equipped with roll-down doors that can close off the sink and medical equipment that a patient may use to harm himself or herself, or medical staff.
A central area will contain all the office equipment that staff and physicians need to provide care on either side of the hospital. The central area also includes workstations for physicians to perform dictation or to have consultations with patients. “This facility is designed with not a lot of office space,” Henderson explained, “so all of the resources are in the center of the facility where we need them the most.”
Same-day surgeries, such as appendectomies and laporascopic surgeries, will be available on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
The patient-centered services provided at the hospital also include 15 inpatient hospital beds, radiology, digital imaging, laboratory and pharmacy.
The 15 inpatient beds, in eight semi-private rooms, feature a state-of-the-art call system, which allows patients to press buttons of a certain color to notify nursing staff of their particular needs. For instance, if they need to use the rest room, they press a yellow button. If they are in pain, they press a green button. The corresponding color will flash on a light board above the patient room door, so that nurses will know what that patient’s needs are.
Carolinas Healthcare System Anson will offer specialty clinics as well, which will allow specialists to occupy the clinic on a rotating basis, bringing in their own reception staff and using two exam rooms to provide specialized care for local patients so the patients do not have to travel to Monroe or Charlotte. Another help to Anson’s population is the Healthquest Pharmacy, Henderson said, which provides medications for people who may have a hard time getting their medications otherwise, because of financial issues or health insurance.
A free Community Room is also available at the new facility. “Anyone with a nonprofit organization can use this room for any reason,” Henderson said. “It seats up to 50 people.”
The room can be reserved by contacting Denise Dunn at 704-994-4512.
A total of about 115 employees will work in the new facility. Many of them are already training on-site. Anson Community Hospital stopped admitting patients at midnight on July 6. “We will open back up to new admissions on July 14 at 7 a.m.” when Carolinas Healthcare System Anson officially opens, Henderson said.
The Anson Community Hospital ED will remain open until 7 a.m. on July 14. “The ED at the old hospital will close once the last patient is discharged on July 14,” Henderson said. “If you need the ED at 6 a.m. on July 14, you’ll need to go to the old hospital. After that, all ED services will move here.”
On Saturday, the entire community will get a glimpse of this new facility as part of an open house. The event is planned for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, and will include a bounce house for the kids, free food, giveaways, an interactive “stuffed animal clinic,” tours of the new facility, blood pressure screenings and more.
The new Carolinas Healthcare System Anson is located at 2301 U.S. Highway 74 West in Wadesboro.