Current through Register Vol. 46, No. 3, March 25, 2022
(1) General: Every
facility must be planned, designed and equipped to provide adequate facilities
for the care and comfort of each patient.
(2) Local and State Codes and Standards:
Facilities shall substantially comply with pertinent local and state laws,
codes, ordinances and standards with reference to design and construction.
Birthing Centers are a "business occupancy" as defined in the Standard Building
Code. No facility will be licensed unless the Department has assurance that
responsible local officials sanction the licensing of the facility. The
Department uses as its basic codes the Standard Building Code, the Standard
Plumbing Code, the Standard Mechanical Code, and the National Electrical Code.
Buildings designed in accordance with the above mentioned codes will be
acceptable to the Department, provided, however, that the minimum requirements
set forth in these standards are met. (II)
Submission of Plans and Specifications:
(a) New Buildings, Additions or Major
Alterations to Existing Buildings: When construction is contemplated either for
new buildings, additions or major alterations to existing buildings, plans and
specifications shall be submitted to the Department for review. Such plans and
specifications shall be prepared by an architect registered in the State of
South Carolina and shall bear his/her seal. These submissions shall be made in
at least two stages: preliminary and final. All plans shall be drawn to scale
with the title and date shown thereon. Construction work shall not be started
until approval of the final drawings or written permission has been received
from the Department. Any construction changes from the approved documents
require approval by the Department. (II)
Preliminary submission shall include the
(1) Plot plan showing size and
shape of entire site; orientation and location of proposed building; location
and description of any existing structures, adjacent streets, highways,
sidewalks, railroads, et cetera, properly designated; size, characteristics and
location of all existing public utilities, including information concerning
water supply available for fire protection.
(2) Floor plans showing overall dimensions of
buildings; locations, size and purpose of all rooms; location and size of
doors, windows and other openings with swing of doors properly indicated;
locations of smoke partitions and firewalls; locations of stairs, elevators,
dumbwaiters, vertical shafts and chimneys.
(3) Outline specifications listing a general
description of construction including interior finishes and mechanical
submission shall include the following: Complete working drawings and contract
specifications, including layouts for plumbing, air conditioning, ventilation
and electrical work and complete fire protection layout.
(d) In construction delayed for a period
exceeding 12 months from the time of approval of final submission, a new
evaluation and/or approval is required.
(e) One complete set of as built drawings
shall be filed with DHEC.
Licensure of Existing Structures: When an
existing structure is contemplated for licensure as a new facility or as an
expansion to an existing facility, the following submittals shall be made to
the Department: (II) (All plans shall be neatly prepared and drawn to scale
with the title and date shown thereon.)
Plot plan in accordance with H. (3)(b)(1).
(b) Floor plan(s) in accordance with H.
(c) Description of
construction including outside walls, partitions, floor, ceiling and roof. The
method of heating and cooling shall also be included.
(5) Minor Alterations in Licensed Facilities:
When alterations are contemplated that may affect life safety, preliminary
drawings and specifications, accompanied by a narrative completely describing
the proposed work, shall be submitted to the Department for review and approval
to insure that the proposed alterations comply with current safety and building
(a) Environment: The facility shall be
located in an environment that is conducive to the type of care and services
(b) Transportation: The
facility must be served by roads which are passable at all times and are
adequate for the volume of expected traffic.
(c) Parking: The facility shall have parking
space to satisfy the minimum needs of patients, employees, staff and
(d) Communications: A
telephone must be provided on each floor used by patients and additional
telephones or extensions must be provided, as required, to summon help in case
of fire or other emergency. Pay station telephones are not acceptable for this
(a) Birthing rooms shall have at
least a gross floor space of 120 square feet with a minimum room dimension of
(b) Birthing rooms shall
be located to provide unimpeded, rapid access to an exit of the building which
will accommodate emergency transportation vehicles and equipment.
(c) Adequate fixed or portable work surface
areas shall be maintained for use in each birthing room.
Toilet and bathing facilities:
(1) A toilet and lavatory shall be provided
in the immediate vicinity of the birthing room.
(2) A bathing facility shall be available for
the mother's use.
Doors providing access into the birthing center and birthing room(s) shall be
at least 44 inches wide to accommodate maneuvering of ambulance stretchers and
wheelchairs and other emergency equipment. Hallways shall be at least 48 inches
Heating and ventilation:
(1) Lighting, heating, and ventilation
systems shall comply with the local and state codes. There shall be approved
equipment capable for maintaining a minimum temperature of 72 degrees
Fahrenheit and a maximum temperature of 76 degrees Fahrenheit in patient
(2) Mechanically operated
systems shall be used to supply air to and exhaust air from soiled workrooms or
soiled storage areas, janitor's closets, toilet rooms, and from spaces which
are not provided with operable windows or outside doors.
(g) The entrance shall be at grade level or
above, be sheltered from the weather and accommodate wheelchairs.
(h) Multipurpose room(s) shall be available
for interviews, education, training, and other purposes.
(i) There shall be adequate general storage
space for office, sterile supplies and other storage. There shall be a work
counter for charting purposes.
Sufficient janitor's closets shall be provided throughout the facility as
required to maintain a clean and sanitary environment. Each shall contain a
floor receptor or service sink and storage space for housekeeping equipment and
(k) A clean work area
shall contain space for handwashing and clean storage and may include clean
(l) There shall be
at least two exits remote from each other.
(m) Items such as drinking fountains,
machines, and portable equipment or any other items shall not be located in the
required exit corridors to restrict corridor traffic.
(n) Thresholds and expansion joint covers
shall be made sufficiently flush with the floor surface to accommodate wheeled
service carts, wheelchairs, gurneys, etc.
(o) All corridor glazing materials that
extend within 18 inches of the floor shall be of safety glass, plastic,
wireglass, or other material that will resist breaking and will not create
dangerous cutting edges when broken. Safety glass or plastic glazing materials
shall be used for any shower doors or bath enclosures.
(p) Cubicle curtains and draperies shall be
noncombustible or rendered flame retardant.
(q) Wall finishes shall be washable and, in
the immediate area of plumbing fixtures, shall be smooth and moisture
(r) Wall bases in soiled
equipment and material workrooms and other areas which are frequently subject
to wet cleaning methods shall be tightly sealed and constructed without voids
that can harbor insects.
and wall penetrations by pipes, ducts, and conduits shall be tightly sealed to
minimize entry of rodents and insects. Joints of structural elements shall be
finish materials shall comply with these flame spread limitations:
(1) Floor, walls, and ceilings in exit ways
and storage rooms containing flammable storage materials and in other rooms of
unusual fire hazard such as furnace rooms shall have a flame spread rating of
75 or less (ASTM Standard E84) and a smoke production rating of .45 watts or
(2) Building insulation
materials, unless sealed on all sides and edges, shall have a flame spread
rating of 25 or less and a smoke developed rating of 150 or less.
(u) A special unit or area for
transitional care shall be provided for increased observation of the infant
while stabilizing vital signs, i.e., respiration, temperature, and body weight,
or for acute supportive care prior to transfer to referral
(v) Adequate space for
the storage, handling and/or preparation of formulas.
Water Supply and Plumbing:
(a) Water Supply: Water shall be obtained
from a community water system and shall be distributed to conveniently located
taps and fixtures throughout the facility and shall be adequate in volume and
pressure for all purposes including fire fighting. (II)
(1) All plumbing material and plumbing
systems or parts thereof installed shall meet the minimum requirements of the
Standard Plumbing Code.
plumbing shall be installed in such a manner as to prevent back siphonage or
cross-connections between potable and non-potable water supplies.
(3) There shall be access to a
sink with hot and cold running water with elbow/wrist controls.