FEATURE “Construction plans need to be

reviewed by your state department of health,” she says. “In addition to approving the plans, the department may require completion of a safety plan. This plan would address changes you are making, life safety issues of concern and infection prevention mea- sures to be addressed.” If your ASC is accredited, Ubaldi continues, you will need to send a report to the accreditation agency detailing the renovation prior to the beginning of the project. “Each agency has its own requirements; learn them before get- ting too far into your planning.” When Mississippi Valley Surgery

Renovate While You Operate Pre-planning goes a long way BY ROBERT KURTZ


n August 2017, Mississippi Valley Surgery Center in Davenport, Iowa,

began work on a multi-million-dol- lar addition and renovation. One year later, the project is going “relatively smoothly,” says Michael Patterson, RN, ASCA Board member and the ASC’s president and chief executive officer. There is still much work to be done, but Patterson is confident that the project will be completed successfully. “The amount of time we spent pre- planning has helped avoid a lot of pitfalls that are common in major renovation and construction projects,” Patterson says. “The biggest factor in a renovation project is the consideration of how it will affect your patients, doctors and staff.” ASCs that want to expand or ren-

ovate need a vision for their project, says Jeffrey Drucker, vice president of the Northeast and New England regions for national health care archi-

tectural firm Array Architects, based in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania. “A vision takes into consideration the changes you will make and how those changes will affect the individuals com- ing to and working in your center,” he says. “If you want to remain open while undertaking renovations, whether they are minor or major, carefully consider your patients’ and staffs’ perspectives so that construction has as minimal of an impact on their experience as possible.”

Developing the Plan ASCs developing renovation plans should use an architect with health care experience and know all the local, state and federal requirements their ASC must meet, advises Kerri Ubaldi, RN, vice president of operations for ASC management and development company Merritt Healthcare in Ridge- field, Connecticut.


Center was ready to begin its project, the ASC completed a strategic plan and community needs assessment. “We worked with our direct patient caregiv- ers—nurses, technicians, surgeons and anesthesia—on the development of the new layout,” Patterson says. “We held weekly meetings with the entire team as we discussed each individual area affected and how they interacted with one another while tying in our volume needs, types of cases and other factors essential to maintaining operations dur- ing construction.”

The team, he adds, worked to iden- tify the best practices for safety, infec- tion prevention and patient satisfaction and kept that at the forefront of design meetings. “This project was not about adding square footage; it was about add- ing the right square footage in the right areas to meet our needs,” he says. So, all areas of the facility are not

affected by construction simultane- ously, Ubaldi recommends consider- ing whether your ASC would be best- served by completing the project in phases. “If you choose to do so,” she says, “each phase should be planned out with a separate safety plan. The construction company you choose should understand all aspects of your safety plans to ensure its employees are always following the plans.”

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