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Franklin Square Medical Center to build new surgical facility

Construction is seen underway on a new patient tower at MedStar Franklin Square Hospital that opened in 2010.
Construction is seen underway on a new patient tower at MedStar Franklin Square Hospital that opened in 2010. (Baltimore Sun Media Group file)

MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center plans to replace its aging surgical facilities with a new $70 million building by 2020.

The plans were approved by the Maryland Health Care Commission last week, according to Samuel Moskowitz, president of the Rosedale hospital. The two-story, 75,000-square-foot surgical center would house 14 larger and more modern operating rooms.

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"Some [operating rooms] date back to opening of hospital campus in 1969," Moskowitz said. "They've been renovated, but they're way too small and not conducive to technologically advanced surgery that we believe is necessarily to serve the population."

The hospital now has two surgical "pods" with operating rooms in different parts of the hospital, according to a certificate of need application it submitted to the state health care commission in August. The average age of the rooms, which were built in three phases, is 35 years.

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Those surgical facilities will remain in use during construction. The new surgical facility will be built on the site of an adjacent building that houses the Eastern Family Resource Center, which will move to a new location. That building will be demolished.

The new facility will also house a waiting room and consolidate pre-operative services, post-operative services and pre-admission testing for patients having surgery in the future. Instead of being spread out in two areas, surgical staff can be combined in one area.

The number of operating rooms will drop from 16 to 14 in the new design, Moskowitz said, because hospital officials believe demand for surgery will drop in the future with the growth of outpatient surgical centers.

Moskowitz said current operating rooms, which range from 325 square feet to 530 square feet, are too small and become crowded during surgery. The new rooms will be at least 600 square feet.

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"We believe from a patient safety perspective, it will only improve our outcomes," Moskowitz said. "We'll be able to do more technologically advanced cancer surgery because of the size of the operating rooms, more advanced robotic surgery."

A 600-square-foot corridor will connect the new facility with the existing hospital. The project is expected to be paid with $40 million in tax-exempt debt and $30 million in on-hand cash and fundraising.

The construction comes after Franklin Square opened a 366,000-square-foot patient tower in November 2010.

The Maryland Health Care Commission did not respond to a request for comment.

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