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In March of last year, Spring View Hospital broke ground on an $8 million dollar expansion. That expansion is expected to be complete by the end of this month, and it will not only make things much more convenient for patients but also allow for better care, according to hospital officials.
"We want patients and their families to be inconvenienced as little as possible," Kathleen Ferriell, Chief Nursing Officer, said. "Improved parking and larger, increased facility space for patients and families will provide them with a much more efficient and positive experience."
The expansion includes 8,000 additional square feet along with renovation of parts of the facility. Three major areas of the hospital have changed dramatically - surgery, imaging, and the Women's Center.
The surgery department now has a new state-of-the-art operating room along with two endoscopy suites to provide patients with treatment for gastrointestinal services. The surgery department also added a new outpatient surgery area. The area has its own entrance, waiting room, registration area, and family notification system so families will be better informed about the progress of patients. It also has eight rooms that will be used to get patients ready for surgery.
The imaging department now has a new M.R.I. machine, an ultrasound room, two patient dressing rooms and the waiting area has more than doubled in size.
An additional labor and delivery suite has also been added to the Women's Center.
All in all, the hospital will be much more convenient for patients and their families, whether it be finding parking, waiting to be admitted, or recovering from surgery. And these improvements were important for the hospital, not only because of patients' concerns, but also because Spring View Hospital wants to be the hospital of choice for the people of this community, Ferriell said.
"If we can continue to provide excellent care, both before and after their surgery, while assuring we get patients into the operating room on time, and decrease the waiting time for them and their family members, we can be the hospital of choice," she said. "People want to have their healthcare in their own community rather than go through the inconvenience of leaving town, but only if it is efficient and competent with the best staff and equipment available to do the job."
The improvements that have been made with the expansion will improve the overall experience for patients and their families at Spring View, Ferriell said. Drop-off and pick-up of patients will be much easier because family will be able to bring their car around very close to the OR/radiology discharge area. In addition, registration will be immediately in front of arriving patients with a new family/visitor waiting area. Also, waiting times for a bed should be greatly reduced since the hospital will now have both a pre-op area and a post-op/discharge area. The new pre-op area more than doubles the number of patients that can be accommodated, Ferriell said.
Another huge benefit of the expansion is that the new "top of the line" MRI is inside the building now, so patients will not have to walk or be transported outside in bad weather to get their testing done. Plus, the technology is more advanced, Ferriell said.
"The new MRI is better than some currently used at some teaching hospitals," she said.
And providing the best, most advanced care to its patients is key to Spring View Hospital and its staff, Ferriell said.
"Staff and physicians here at Spring View are friends and neighbors to our patients, so they want to do all they can to give patients the best care and service possible," she said. "The improvements in our OR room and radiology departments help us to take care of them as if they were our family and friends, because often times they are."
Providing work for local vendors and workers has also been a focus during Spring View's expansion, Ferriell said. The hospital's administration has tried to use as many local vendors and workers as possible, she said.
"We recognize the need for the hospital to be a community partner, helping the local economy, and providing ever-improving services and capabilities for our neighbors, friends and families," Ferriell said. "We appreciate their patronage and support and will do whatever we can to improve to the point where we are able to exceed their expectations."
In addition to improving patient care, the expansion has also improved working conditions for the hospital's staff, Ferriell said. The added space allows for a far less cramped working area, as well as more organized storage and use of equipment. The new central sterile processing area is larger, which provides safer and easier cleaning, sterilizing and storage of instruments.
"In the past staff had to process all of our instrumentation by hand, which was very labor intensive," Jerry Effner, director of surgical services, said. "Now, with a state of the art instrument washer and scope washer, the job is done by automation and labor time is cut in half. We also have two new sterilizers that are more reliable, which helps staff with down time issues."
Effner said the new state-of-the-art operating room, which is 600 square feet in size, also improves safety for patients.
"The new OR is wonderful," he said. "It has two equipment booms, which hold our new state of the art video equipment. The new video equipment provides HD digital images so that the surgeons can visualize procedures with much clearer images."
Effner believes patient satisfaction is what will improve the most as a result of the expansion.
"We are here for one purpose and that is to provide quality patient care," he said. "This expansion allows us to do this in a more streamlined fashion and still provide the quality care patient's are used to, which will make for satisfied patients."
But, the expansion has also helped with employee morale, which is an added bonus, according to Effner.
"Feedback from staff has been extremely positive," Effner said. "They like their new digs and the technology that comes with it."