SURGICAL DECISIONS: Hospital undertaking major renovation of operating areas

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GREENFIELD — The surgery suites at Hancock Regional Hospital are being renovated to create a more inviting, efficient space for patients, their families and health-care providers.

Work began last month and is expected to take 18 to 24 months to complete.

Steve Long, CEO of Hancock Health, said the multiyear, multimillion dollar upgrades will be worth the wait.

“They will not only provide a beautiful environment for our patients and families but will give our surgical teams access to the latest technology,” he said.

Renovations are being done in phases so that daily surgeries and services can be conducted throughout the course of work, which includes improvements in the same-day surgery rooms, operating room suites, perianesthesia care unit rooms and the central sterile processing department.

Some completed sections are already in use, including seven same-day surgery rooms, two operating rooms and a portion of the perianesthesia care unit.

Soothing colors, natural light and pleasing decor are as important in the overhaul as is top-of-the-line equipment, said Theresa Lueder, the hospital’s assistant vice president of acute care and surgical services.

The same-day surgery rooms will be enhanced with new flooring, paint and cabinets for patients’ belongings, as well as new carts and beds, vital sign monitors, televisions, updated bathroom facilities and bedside computers for the health-care team.

The nurses’ stations, consultation rooms and waiting lounge are also being renovated.

The perianesthesia care unit — which provides care for patients who are going to have or have had a surgical procedure under anesthesia — will gain two new private suites, which will be used for mothers undergoing cesarean sections and for inpatients scheduled for procedures.

The operating room suites will be updated with 4K laparoscopy equipment, with two rooms also equipped with 3D technology, while all operating rooms will be updated with a new patient navigation system.

The suites will be renovated with new equipment, lighting, cabinets, flooring, paint, and some will be quipped with a patient lift system to help safely position and move patients.

Lueder thinks the changes will be well-received by patients who have expressed the desire for a calming space and larger rooms when visiting the hospital for surgical procedures.

“We know that an inviting, more spacious and patient-centric area is much more to the liking of our patients and their loved ones,” she said, “which ultimately increases patient satisfaction and gives a more positive patient experience.”