Friday, March 19, 2010

York Hospital Unveils State of the Art Surgical Center

By Larry Favinger
Staff Columnist
Nearly 500 people toured York Hospital’s Phase I of the new Surgery Center during open house celebrations last weekend.
From the new entrance and waiting area, where refreshments were served, to the pre- and post-operative rooms, nurse’s station, and recovery rooms, people had an opportunity to view the future. When Phase II is completed late this fall, the surgical capacity of the hospital will be doubled.
The project is the result of a lot of work by architects, contractors and hospital staff.
“There was a lot of in-house involvement, absolutely,” Jud Knox, the hospital president, said, standing in the corridor outside the private recovery rooms.
An example of that involvement, he said, were the doors on those rooms that are thought to be unique to York Hospital.
“We found someone who could build these doors,” he said, pointing to the automatic sliders through which nurses can monitor patients. But during a test in a mock room, nurses felt the doors opening and closing was too noisy and, they noted, post-op patients are particularly susceptible to noise.
“So the nurses worked with the door manufacturer” to solve that problem, Knox said. “So these are one of a kind doors.”
Tour guides were in place during the open house to accompany visitors through the facility and answer any questions they might have.
“It’s really beautiful, isn’t it?” Steve Pelletier, chief operating officer of the hospital, said of Phase I. “We’re looking forward to the challenges of the other phases.”
Many commented on the pastel colors used throughout as being unusual for a hospital and creating a warm and comforting atmosphere.
Standing at what will be the entrance to the next surgical suites when the project is completed, Knox explained why the expansion was necessary.
“We’re just out of capacity,” he said. “We couldn’t accommodate any more surgeons. We’ve just grown to the degree that we’ve outgrown our facilities.”
When that happens, Knox said, “you can’t attract surgeons and you can’t keep surgeons.”
The project will virtually double the hospital’s capacity for surgical procedures when completed, probably late in the fall.
There will be two additional surgical suites, bringing the total to five, with six private pre- and post- op rooms, and a private recovery area with six private patient rooms.
The need for additional capacity is underlined by the rapid increase in need. According to hospital figures from 2000 to 2007, the need for surgical procedures increased 101 percent, an average of 14 percent per year, from 3,201 cases to 6,429.
There’s already a new façade facing Lindsay Road that was designed to fit into the historic character of York Village.
The work is also being done with future expansion, if needed, in mind along with increased surgical volume and revenue.
The redesigned center also provides privacy while reducing waiting for patients and families, preserves personalized pre-operative attention, and supports family participation throughout the surgical experience.
The designing and building of the expanded Surgical Center did not ignore environmental responsibilities. Wherever possible, efforts were and are being made to conserve energy and be environmentally friendly.
These include a solar energy collection device to provide up to 70 percent of the center’s hot water needs with the potential for future expansion, an advanced lighting system designed to save energy and a day lighting strategy that brings natural light to the private pre- and post- operative rooms and corridors, reducing the need for electric lighting.
Photo caption: York Hospital President Jud Knox leads a tour of the hospital’s new surgical center. (Larry Favinger photo)