Mississippi Valley Surgery Center sent its construction company’s on-site leader to a health care construction cer- tification course. “We wanted him to be up to date on the latest and greatest safety and infection prevention tech- niques during construction in a health care facility,” says Patterson.

Using mock-ups, he adds, can help ensure your design drawings are in sync with the project’s expected outcome. “We mocked up each new pre- and post- operative room out of cardboard and had the caregivers review the placement of every piece of equipment, plug loca- tion, sink location, bed location, cabinet location and more. The nurses and tech- nicians moved items around within the mocked-up rooms, so they could deter- mine the best placement for each item. This saved time and money as they made several changes based on feedback.” Drucker advises ASCs to work dur- ing the planning phase of a project to coordinate major construction activities at times less likely to disturb patient services. “This would include heavy- duty hammering and drilling and elec- trical and plumbing shutdowns,” he says. “You need a mindset focused on ensuring a cordial atmosphere condu- cive to providing good services while construction happens.” Once you have completed your plans, Ubaldi says, hand them to your ASC’s infection preventionist or infec- tion prevention consultant. “This indi- vidual should review them and your patient flow plans to ensure they meet infection prevention standards.” Perform a patient risk assessment

as well, Drucker says. “See if the pro- posed construction means and meth- ods limit patient and staff injuries and will help keep everyone safe. Deter- mine whether anything can be done better so everyone feels even safer.”

Ongoing Responsibilities Once construction begins, new responsi- bilities for your ASC begin as well, says Patterson. “Our team of health history

ily members aren’t the only visitors who will need help, he says. ASCs also need to consider those who provide postal, linen and pathology services and more. “Involve the staff and physicians when planning the flow of patients through the space during each phase of construction,” says Ubaldi. “Allow staff time to voice concerns related to each phase of your project and ensure con- cerns are addressed.” She also recom- mends meeting with staff frequently throughout the renovation to make cer- tain they understand the status of the project and any changes to patient flow. As its expansion project proceeds,

Construction plans need to be reviewed by your state department of health. In addition to approving the plans, the department may require completion of a safety plan.”

— Kerri Ubaldi, RN Merritt Healthcare

nurses and front office team members ensured patients were aware of the con- struction and how it would affect them before they arrived.” When the ASC ren- ovated its front entrance, it used a tempo- rary entrance for two months and hired a patient greeter to make certain patients knew where to go and how to get there on the day of their surgery. “Little things like that can make a project of this mag- nitude a success,” he says. “Signage and wayfinding are key,” agrees Drucker. “Confusion about where to go can lead to disorientation, bottle- necks, impatience and unhappiness with the experience.” He recommends devel- oping the signage before construction affects entrances, exits and flow through your facility. And patients and their fam-

says Patterson, the Mississippi Valley Surgery Center conducts a daily review of all areas of construction to ensure proper barriers are in place to pre- vent opportunities for dust and debris to enter patient care areas. “We com- municate with staff, the general con- tractor and sub-contractors so they all know the expectations while on-site. We require every construction team member to receive an orientation to the facility and our standard safety and infection prevention protocols before being allowed to work on the job site.” Despite all your efforts, renovation

is likely to create some disruption for patients, says Ubaldi. Consider what your ASC can do to show apprecia- tion for their understanding. “A small gesture, like providing gift cards for food or coffee on days when patients and their families have been inconve- nienced due to the construction—such as an over-crowded waiting room, a long wait time or noise during the pro- cedure—can go a long way to improv- ing their overall experience.” Consider ways to show your appreci- ation to staff as well. Patterson says his ASC has provided lunches and gifted tumblers with the center’s logo engraved on it. “This is to help staff ‘keep their cool’ during our renovation project.” Ubaldi recalls a project where busi-

ness staff who were moved off site dur- ing the project were provided a bonus.


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