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Memorial Medical Center overhauls inpatient facilities
PHOTO: The new waiting area in Memorial Medical Center's OB unit.
Memorial Medical Center in Ashland will be a work in progress during the next year.
Following through on a strategic plan, the process of which began nearly 15 years ago, hospital executives are well underway with Phase II of a four phase project that will transform the hospital’s 25 in-patent rooms.
Construction was recently completed on Phase I of the project, which renovated six rooms. Phase II will upgrade an additional eight rooms, while the remaining 11 rooms will be completed in phases III and IV.
According to Kathy Tuttle, Memorial Medical Center director of in-patient services, the project will increase the private room spaces, which easily can accommodate family members.
“Patients don’t come (to the hospital) by themselves; they come with a family unit,” she said.
The hospital had already made the transition to private patient rooms in 2007, when it joined the Critical Access Hospital program, said Tuttle. The critical access designation was created in 1997 to ensure that Medicare patients in rural areas had adequate access to treatment. The program provides a higher reimbursement schedule for hospitals that meet the program’s guidelines.
The construction project currently underway also:
• Adds lift stations in 10 rooms to improve patient lifting safety for those who are less mobile.
• Combines the surgical and intensive care units. When fully completed, the hospital will have four rooms capable of addressing the needs of critical care patients.
• Provides space to store many of the medical supplies in patient rooms, allowing for more seamless treatment.
Tuttle said construction plans centered around six strategic aims: patient-centered, safety, timely, effective, efficient and equitable care. The reconstruction also means more quiet space for recovering patients by providing designated areas for conversations. Patients will be less exposed to employee or visitor conversations in the halls, she said
The in-patient room renovations are the last phase of a multi-dimensional facility master plan, designed to “bring the facilities up to contemporary practice standards,” said Dan Adams, vice president and chief operating officer.
As is the case at many other regional healthcare facilities, the fast-changing business of healthcare has necessitated prior renovations here. Memorial Medical Center also is nearing completion of an obstetric room construction project. Completion of the project, which includes eight OB rooms, is scheduled for mid-March.
The total in-patient room project cost is estimated at $11.5 million. Current timelines call for a spring 2013 completion. Phase II is expected to be completed by mid-August of this year.
Eau Claire-based Market and Johnson is the general contractor for the project.
The hospital has common ownership with Hayward Area Memorial Hospital and Nursing Home through the Regional Enterprises, Inc. holding company. It is the seventh largest healthcare facility in the BusinessNorth circulation area of Northeastern Minnesota and Northwestern Wisconsin. Its net revenues for the fiscal year ending in Sept. 2011 were $55.7 million.
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