Hospital project on track to finish ‘piece by piece’Tours of a “mock patient room” at Community Memorial Hospital last week required imagination.
By: Jana Peterson, Pine Journal
Tours of a “mock patient room” at Community Memorial Hospital last week required imagination. The flat-screen TV was a cardboard box top and the patient call station was a printed photo of the device. Cabinets that will soon house various medical devices such as oxygen and suction units were marked with sticky notes, each one denoting what goes where.
“All the people who will be instrumental in delivery of health care to the patients have been able to take a look at this room,” said Nancy Taggert, CMH spokesperson.
The goal, Taggert said, was to come up with the smartest design – before anything is actually installed in the room. To that end, they’ve had various doctors – who work in different areas such as family practice, surgery and OB/GYN – tour the room, along with other hospital staff, from the “technology guy” to a charge nurse and nurse’s aide to the hospital chaplain.
While most of the features in the new patient rooms are getting a “thumbs up” from staff – such as a shelf that could display cards and flowers in the room – there are one or two things that have to be changed before construction continues.
“There haven’t really been any surprises, the biggest thing is when we designed the rooms, we had a charting area outside the room,” said Director of Buildings and Grounds Paul Charon, explaining how the rooms were designed in pairs, so a nurse could see the patient in each room from a spot in the hallway between the doorways and do his or her charting from that location. “Now that’s not going to work.”
Tom Gauthier, Registered Nurse, who is director of inpatient services at CMH, explained that the hospital’s medication practices wouldn’t work with the original plan.
“You need that computer at the bedside to do the [medications] barcode scanning,” Gauthier said. “So that’s never going to work, unless you have a 50-foot cord. Now, we’ll probably put that charting station here, [next to the imaginary bed].”
When they’re completed, Gauthier said the 18 new private patient rooms will be larger than most hospital rooms in the area and have a much more “homey” feel than the current CMH rooms, which were built in the late 1950s. At the same time, they will also have many of the conveniences a person might expect at a nice hotel, including free WiFi, a desk for laptop computers and other devices, a mini fridge, microwave and flat-screen TV. Three birthing rooms will contain whirlpool tubs, while normal patient rooms have private bathrooms, each one built large enough to also hold a lift station for patients with limited mobility.
Five of the new patient rooms will have actual overhead lifts in the room that will take patients out of the bed and right into the bathroom on a track system. The hospital is outfitting two of the rooms for bariatric patients, so everything from the bed to the lift would be capable of handling up to 1,000 pounds, versus the 500-pound limit on a normal lift.
The new private inpatient rooms are located on the top floor of the back addition, along with three birthing rooms and four private intensive care rooms on the same floor. The top floor will also feature an expanded gift shop, an area for patients undergoing infusion therapies and a large family waiting area. The chapel will also be given its own space on that floor.
CMH CEO Rick Breuer said he’s amazed by how much changes every day in the construction zone.
“There are a lot of neat little features,” he said. “To see it on paper is one thing, but then to see it come to life is even better.”
While the patient rooms are expected to be ready in the early fall sometime, the new kitchen and cafeteria space one floor below should open up in late June or early July, Charon said, adding that the lower floor purchasing area will also be ready to go this summer.