September 18, 2012- Wake Forest Baptist Health-Lexington Medical Center has asked the State of North Carolina for approval to invest $12 million to improve emergency and diagnostic imaging services to the community.
Lexington Medical Center has filed two Certificates of Need (CON) with the CON Section of the Department of Health and Human Services in Raleigh, triggering a public review process.
"The applications are evidence of our commitment to meet the health care needs of Lexington and Davidson County," said Steve Snelgrove, president of Lexington Medical Center. "A larger emergency department (ED) and a second computerized tomography (CT) scanner will enable more community residents to receive the medical care they need close to home."
In one application, Lexington Medical Center proposes to invest $10 million in expanding the emergency department. The current emergency department opened in 1979 and was designed to accommodate 23,000 patient visits a year. Last year, there were 36,500 visits and projections anticipate more than 45,000 visits by 2017.
Plans call for adding 7,500 square feet to the current hospital and renovating approximately 2,600 square feet to connect the new addition to the current emergency department. New treatment and triage rooms will be added and the size of the waiting room will double. Site grading and parking will be reconfigured to allow better access to entrances.
The proposed expansion is separate from the small project underway in the ED. "The current project is designed to meet our most urgent, short-term needs," said Snelgrove. That project is scheduled to be completed in March.
"The application is a long-term solution to the continued increase in use of the emergency department," added Snelgrove. "Our community deserves an adequate and modern emergency service."
The second Certificate of Need is to purchase a $2 million CT scanner. "Computerized tomography is an essential tool to visualize nearly all parts of the body and assists physicians in diagnosing cancers, cardiovascular disease and other disorders, in addition to trauma," said Snelgrove.
"Having a second scanner will allow us to offer timely imaging services and meet the demand of the community." added Snelgrove. The number of patients receiving scans has increased 15 percent over the past five years.
The CON section has from 90 to 150 days to review the applications. North Carolina law requires health care providers to obtain a CON before adding to their facilities and equipment.
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