Benefits of new facility are easy to see for employees, patients alike
As Providence Medical Center pushes forward in its impressive construction and renovation project, we have published a series of articles centered around various aspects of PMC. This is the final installment of that series.
After hours of brainstorming and planning, Providence Medical Center was able to break ground on the biggest construction project to date for the hospital, where basically every surface of the hospital will be touched in some way.
Now the project is is well underway, having already met the halfway point, so patients and employees alike can see the light at the end of the tunnel.
The massive project includes a complete renovation of all patient rooms, ancillary services wing, main entrance and patient check-in, administration offices, emergency department, dining and kitchen areas among many others.
"The core building from 1975 has never really undergone infrastructure changes. It's been added onto and maintained aesthetically, but a lot of things have changed since 1975," Kristine Giese, Chief Operating Officer at PMC said. "Healthcare has changed and we have a lot more technology."
The value such renovation and construction has brought to patients at Providence is overwhelming.
The emergency department, for example, was once scattered between several locations throughout the hospital forcing patients to be wheeled from the ambulance garage down the halls to get to an emergency room. Now the state-of-the-art facility has an ambulance bay included in it, maintaining privacy and allowing for physicians and nurses to attend to a trauma in a matter of seconds which is critical for positive outcomes.
The new emergency wing is equipped with modern technology and large rooms to make the nurses and physicians more efficient as they attend to patients, which is exactly what the rooms will be like in the patient wings once they are finished.
In the "B" wing, larger rooms for critical or intensive care patients have already been completed. The rooms allow for better access, not only for employees to work, but for families and the patient's comfort.
"Patients' families stay a lot more than they used to, so we have the ability to accommodate family members staying with more accessible, larger rooms," Giese said.
The bathrooms inside the rooms include a shower without any barrier to step over or tray to step into, making them safer.
Patients who may be expecting a child also get toreap the benefits of this project, as PMC is adding a second labor and delivery room and renovating the current one to better suit the needs of expectant parents and the staff needed to safely deliver a baby.
"We've been having a lot more obstetrical work up here. Our physicians that deliver are Dr. Martin, Dr. Dobbins and Dr. McCorkindale. They really wanted to expand the obstetrical services, so we've done a number of things in that regard technologically."
The added space allows for supplies and equipment to be stored right in the rooms rather than in storage closets throughout the facility.
These rooms embrace the growing expectations that go with delivery, with accommodations such as a walk-in tub to help keep the patient comfortable and relaxed during their time at PMC.
Other changes include the relocation of the server room out of the basement to an environmentally sound, secure space ensuring the safety of the computer system that is the backbone of the hospital.
The new central sterilization area wasn't laid out by an architect, but designed by the vendor PMC purchased its sterilizer from, enabling the staff to work more efficiently.
"We are very concerned with and very attentive to preventing surgical site infections. We have a very good record in that regard."
Even down to the flooring selected (no more carpet!), Providence Medical Center has thought out this project down to each and every detail and how it will affect employees and patients.
As construction carries on, PMC will continue looking at additional services and attracting providers to offer their services through the hospital.
"We've added quite a few more outpatient speciality clinics, in terms of podiatry, obstetrics, dermatology," she said. "We have more surgeons coming now, so our outpatient areas are really picking up."
Giese said the hospital has already added new radiological services, interventional radiology especially. But the hospital isn't done adding.
A community health assessment was carried out by PMC last year in order to have areas of need identified by the community. Several specialities, including dermatology, were pinpointed and addressed.
"We keep our finger on the pulse on what the community needs," Giese said. "We're always looking. There are several specialities we'd like to expand but haven't found providers yet."
Providence is pushing patient experience to go hand-in-hand with this construction project to keep the focus on patients.
The initiative, called Hospital of Choice, is geared toward improving the patient experience while they are at PMC. It puts the patient's care in the hands of every front-line staff member. The No-Pass Zone is part of this initiative and has already been launched.
If a patient light goes off, the objective of this initiative is for whoever is walking down the hall, clinical or not, to assist that person within their scope of expertise, ensuring the patient's needs are met as quickly as possible.
Giese believes that the initiative, especially the No-Pass Zone aspect of it, engages everyone in the patient's care.
The initiative will include other aspects such as employee engagement and patient satisfaction, all to improve on the experience patients have at Providence, which is already highly spoken of.
"I like to say we offer big-city medicine in a small-town environment and we treat patients like they're our family."