Oaklawn Hospital has completed its private room expansion project with the opening of the new third and fourth floors and the renovation of the second floor Critical Care Unit rooms.
The new floors, which total 36,000 square feet have equipment, technology and amenities to greatly enhance patient care and comfort. About 11,000 -square-feet of the second floor was renovated, expanding the Critical Care Unit to 12-rooms. All of the hospital's 77 acute care rooms are now private. Oaklawn has expanded to enhance patient privacy, reduce the risk of infection, decrease patient stress, speed healing, shorten hospital stays and improve family amenities.
Oaklawn embarked on this project to fulfill a vision shared by its doctors, staff and patients to continually enhance the quality of care--a vision of creating an environment where the comfort and privacy of every patient and family member is considered with the same critical attention as the medical care itself.
“This project is allowing the hospital to provide even better patient care,” said Oaklawn President and CEO Rob Covert. “Private rooms, along with what we already have -- advanced equipment and technology, outstanding physicians and skilled clinical staff --help to make us an excellent regional healthcare organization.”
Enhancing Patient Privacy and Safety
A key driver in offering all private rooms is improving patient privacy, always an issue in semi-private rooms. Private rooms also help hospitals adhere to rules set forth in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA, intended to protect patients' privacy. Physicians and clinical staff will be able to discuss medical procedures and conditions without the concern of being overheard by another patient.
“It’s inevitable that a patient in a semi-private room will end up knowing at least something about his or her ‘roommate’s’ medical condition,” said Oaklawn Chief Nursing Officer Kristin Sims, R.N., M.S.N. “It can be very uncomfortable for both patients.”
The risk of medication errors is also reduced in rooms dedicated to just one patient.
The infection risk is lower in private rooms because patients don’t have to share a bathroom and aren’t exposed to airborne germs as they would be in a semi-private room.
“Staying in a private room can offer an extra layer of protection against any possible hospital-contracted infections such as pneumonia, gastroenteritis, influenza or urinary tract infections,” said Oaklawn physician Dr. Thomas Neidlinger.
Bronson Hospital in Kalamazoo reported a 45 percent reduction in infection after converting to all private rooms.
Alleviating Patient Stress
In a private room, patients don’t have to worry about making or hearing noise as they could in a shared room. Talking to visitors and watching TV is more comfortable and sleep is more rested. This translates into a better healing environment and greater patient satisfaction.
Shortening Hospital Stays
National studies also show that private rooms lead to shorter hospital stays because of the reduced infection risk, quicker healing process and less stress.
“We want to do whatever we can to make the patient comfortable and to enhance the treatment and recovery process,” Sims said.
Improving Family Accommodations
Oaklawn’s new 390-square-foot private rooms have an area for family that includes a comfortable overnight sofa bed. A family member can stay overnight with ease, and visitors have a pleasant sitting area with plenty of room. The rooms also allow for more space for advanced clinical equipment.
Expanding Information System Capabilities
When complete, Oaklawn will have some of the most advanced information system technology in the area. The hospital is currently 90 percent paperless, and that percentage is expected to increase when the private room project is complete. Advanced computers housed in communication closets in each room will allow for electronic charting of patient information, such as vital signs and medication administration, that is immediately accessible to other clinical departments. Patients will be able to call for their nurses via remote call devices. The disruption of overhead paging will be nearly eliminated. The hospital will continue advancement of its Computerized Physician Order Entry system, allowing physicians to access real-time patient information at home or office. Wireless access also will be available for patients and visitors in the private rooms.
Enhancing Healing Environment
Based on the input of clinical experts, Oaklawn's interior designers created private room decors that integrate the latest technology in a warm, soothing environment. These spacious rooms are highlighted by natural colors, creating a welcome, calming effect. Lighting is adjustable for a variety of situations so patients, physicians and visitors can illuminate specific areas of the room. The woodwork was designed to further enhance the natural effect. Recessed equipment provides a cleaner and more open feel. Additionally, each room features furniture designed to provide maximum comfort for patients and visitors. Large windows allow for plenty of natural light.