"The rooms will be built not only for the patient but the patient's family," Mullins said. "They will be identical in design so a provider going in one room will know exactly where something is stored in any room. That's a big advantage."
For the first time, Boone Memorial will have a surgery suite. Patients who need orthopedic surgery will be able to get it done in Madison, he said.
The endoscopy surgery room will double in space and the physical-therapy space will be tripled.
Boone Memorial will not add more beds because the government permits only 25 beds for critical-access hospitals, which are rural community hospitals that receive cost-based reimbursement.
The new hospital is "going to be as green of a building as we can afford to be," Mullins said. The existing hospital is extremely energy inefficient, has inadequate environmental controls and the safety and security systems do not meet new standards. Five years from now, the building would not have been approved completely by state inspection agencies, he said.
Mullins said the new hospital will use skylights to reduce the cost of electricity used on lighting and heating.
"It will be energy efficient and it will be designed to last for at least 50 years," Mullins said. "We have not designed it for our needs today, we have done the best to guess for the future and design it for years to come."
The 18-month construction will begin no later than July 2013, he said. The new facility will stand right next to the existing hospital. Once the new hospital is finished, the old Boone Memorial will be torn down and the space used as a parking lot for the new hospital. Mullins said that would take six months.
During the demolition of the old hospital, employees will be bussed from two parking lots off Boone Memorial's campus and patients will park in what is now the employee parking lot.
Mullins said he anticipates the new hospital to attract more physicians. At least 20 people will be hired when it opens, he said.
For now, Mullins, the hospital staff and the community are celebrating the good news, he said. Mullins has worked at Boone Memorial for 48 years -- the longest tenure for a hospital administrator in West Virginia, he said -- and he's excited to provide the community with a new hospital.
"The community heavily supports this facility," Mullins said. "The phone has been ringing off the hook from people who are happy and congratulating us."
Reach Megan Workman at megan.work...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5113.