The hospital will complete a total renovation of an existing hospital wing into a modern Intensive Care Unit and Step-Down Telemetry Unit, a project estimated at $5.34 million. Also slated is the replacement of Abben Cancer Center’s current simulator with a new, state-of-the-art CT/simulator at a cost just under $1 million. The third project, estimated at $1.85 million, focuses on a series of facility infrastructure improvements, updating the hospital’s cooling and electrical systems.
“Spencer Hospital is committed to investing back into its healthcare mission to provide access to advanced technology and modern facilities. This commitment is balanced with thoughtful and pragmatic planning to ensure a prudent use of the resources entrusted to us,” commented Bill Bumgarner, Spencer Hospital President. “Through careful planning and budgeting, we will be able to fund these projects using cash reserves.”
Stephen Deutsch, Vice President of Operations Support, added: “Our initial step was to develop a comprehensive facility planning process. We know it’s essential to develop priorities to plan on-going maintenance and improvements to assure we maintain modern facilities backed by reliable infrastructure.”
Intensive Care Unit Project
The Intensive Care Unit (ICU) is where Spencer Hospital’s most critical patients receive care. The current ICU is a large room with a nurses’ station in the center, surrounded by six small patient rooms.
“We have outgrown the space in the ICU as equipment needed for today’s health care technology requires more space than our current patient rooms provide,” Bumgarner explained. “Also, aesthetically, our ICU unit is not consistent with other patient care areas of the hospital which have been renovated in recent years.”
To provide seamless care for patients and a quiet environment during the construction period, the ICU will be temporarily relocated to the first floor of the hospital.. This will allow the hospital to renovate the entire second floor wing which currently houses ICU and patient overflow rooms, creating a new intensive care unit along with a step-down telemetry unit.
Bumgarner explained that the step-down telemetry unit will be included on the unit for patients who require monitoring using a telemetry system. . Those patient rooms would also be available if the traditional inpatient rooms, known as the Medical and Surgical Unit, are filled to capacity.
To aid in the coordination of care between the new ICU and other inpatient areas as well as the Surgery Center, a hallway will be created and elevator installed on the west end of the new ICU unit which will link these areas together.
“I am very pleased in how smoothly the planning process has gone for all three projects,” Deutsch stated. “Lee Palmer, our Director of Plant Operations, has provided solid leadership and coordination in this planning stage and will continue to do so throughout construction. Our ICU and Abben Cancer Center healthcare professionals have been intricately involved in the planning of these projects to ensure plan designs that best serve the needs of our patients while seeking efficiencies in work flow.”
Abben Cancer Center CT/Simulator Project
Abben Cancer Center of Spencer Hospital offers various treatment methods to provide the most effective care for each patient, including radiation therapy. Patients who are prescribed radiation therapy to target a cancerous area have a treatment plan created using equipment called a simulator. It is essentially a high tech process to simulate where radiation will be delivered to ensure a safe and optimal treatment process. The cancer center will be replacing its current simulator with a state-of-the-art CT/Simulator which combines CT scanning capabilities and simulation into one machine.
“The hospital continues to uphold its commitment to acquire the latest in cancer treatment technology for the care of our patients,” commented Dr. Don Nordstrom, Radiation Oncologist. “The CT/Simulator complements and interfaces with our state-of-art treatment technology, continuing to provide the best possible treatment planning for our patients. We are blessed to have the best treatment technology and equipment available to use in the care of our patients.”
In addition to the equipment purchase, a software upgrade is required to support new technology. Also, minor construction in the simulation room will be required for optimal positioning of the equipment. The CT/Simulator and software will cost $577,530 while the renovation and minor roof repairs are estimated at approximately $400,000.
Included in the infrastructure upgrade are the following projects:
- Installation of a new back-up chiller for the eastern portion of the hospital facility which will provide a total of three chillers serving the building. The new chiller will help resolve issues that occur when spring temperatures heat up during the day yet fall below freezing overnight.
- The addition of piping from the east portion of the facility to the western half of the building to provide support for cooling in the event that the west side chiller would require maintenance.
- Replacement and relocation of an electrical panel currently located in the basement of the original 1933 building.
Up to $1.85 million is budgeted to complete a series of facility improvements related to the hospital’s cooling and electrical systems.
“Infrastructure investments rarely register high on the ‘wow’ scale; yet, they are important and responsible steps necessary to support the demands of ever evolving patient care technology, the work of our healthcare team, and for the comfort of our patients,” Bumgarner stressed.
The Spencer Hospital Board of Trustees approved each of these projects at its regular board meeting on August 23. Bids for all of these projects will be let in October with work anticipated to commence in December and completed in Fall of 2013.
News Release From Spencer Hospital