Bolivar Medical begins renovations
by Courtney Warren
May 16, 2014 | 2902 views | 0 0 comments | 27 27 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Bolivar Medical Center has begun construction to make the hospital a better place for patients, doctors, and staff.

According to James Atkins, interim CEO for the hospital, the settled plans will cost approximately $4.4 million and are mostly cosmetic oriented.

The renovation began May 1 will be done over a 14 month period.

Most of the renovation will take place on the third floor and phase one will be the renovation of the third floor east wing, which will take three months.

The second phase will be the third floor east wing including the Intensive Care Unit.

The third phase will be the third floor north wing and phase four will be on the second floor in the nursery, labor and delivery, and post partum.

"There are a lot of rules and regulations that have to be followed to ensure we keep the workers, the staff, and the patients safe throughout these processes. We have a lot of special things that must be done when we do internal construction and they are mostly around ensuring the safety of the people working in the facility or residing in the facility. It takes a lot of coordination with a lot of different departments and people to make the interior renovation safe," said Atkins.

"The third floor is where the majority of our inpatients stay when they are in the hospital. For us, we open and close those units as census demands. We want to make it really nice for them and what those rooms will get is new ceilings, new floor, the walls will be freshly painted, the bathrooms will be completely redone with new fixtures and new tile. It will be really updated. We hope and believe the patient experience will be much more positive with the updated renovations.

We've worked with a designer that helped us pick colors that are warm and welcoming but will also stand the test of time," he said.

Atkins said the group has chosen some wood laminate in the labor and delivery areas that will give a nice element and make it homier.

"I'm really excited I think these earth tone colors are warm and welcoming and I think they're also timely. Some of the solid surfaces we're going to use I believe will really enhance the patient experience," he said.

When asked about how infections and debris will be contained in such a sterile an important area like the ICU and operating rooms, Atkins said a lot has been done to ensure there is no spread of infections.

"There are a lot of rules and regulations that have to be followed to ensure we keep the workers, the staff, and the patients safe throughout these processes. We have a lot of special things that must be done when we do internal construction and they are mostly around ensuring the safety of the people working in the facility or residing in the facility. It takes a lot of coordination with a lot of different departments and people to make the interior renovation safe," Atkins said.

Atkins said as the renovations continue what works in their favor is the fact that different sections of the hospital can be closed at a time and renovated.

"We are fortunate that we can close down a unit at a time. For instance, on the third floor we have three north, three east, and three west so we've started our renovations in three east. Fortunately we're able to put up a wall and block off the whole wing of the hospital, which has allowed us to go in and do the demolition and take out the ceilings and the bathroom fixtures. We use companies that work in healthcare systems so they know the rules and know that they're working in a place where next-door patients are trying to recover. We use companies are experienced with that and are sensitive to that," he said.

Atkins added they work very carefully with these companies so if a particular patient is too disturbed and it's interfering with their ability to heal and get better, the construction will stop and reschedule or shift the renovation.

Atkins also said there are other procedures in place to help prevent to spread of infection.

"There's a high level of infection control through processes and procedures we put in place. When you start doing demolition you're bringing up dust and dirt so we work hard with our infection control coordinator to talk about what phases will involve and how we mitigate the spread of infection. We use a lot of techniques to contain debris and particulate matter. We use vents to the outside and sticky mats to help prevent dust from moving. We construct hard barriers with insulation when we can," he said.

"We are excited about this project and the staff is excited, you always love to have something new and I think this will be great for the hospital and for the community," said Atkins.