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Chris Booth, associate vice president of patient care operations at CVPH Medical Center, talks Tuesday about the added space in the new progressive-care unit. (Staff Photo/Rob Fountain)
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One of the 22 private rooms is shown that will create a new patient environment at CVPH Medical Center in Plattsburgh. The rooms are designed to meet the needs of patients, their families and staff. (Staff Photo/Rob Fountain)

CVPH unveils new Progressive Care Unit

By: DAN HEATH

PLATTSBURGH — The new Progressive Care Unit at CVPH Medical Center was designed to provide patients with the utmost in clean, quiet care for more rapid healing. 

Hospital officials offered reporters a look at the new fourth-floor rooms Tuesday morning. The 22 spacious, state-of-the-art private rooms are part of a $5.6 million renovation project.

Patients are expected to move to the new rooms starting Nov. 20. Once they are full, 97 percent of the rooms at the hospital will be private.

“This is opening a new phase for our hospital,” said CVPH President and CEO Stephens Mundy.

BASIS FOR CHANGE

The project included drilling through the floor and ceiling to install new infrastructure, which is now in place for improvements on other floors.

Associate Vice President of Support Services Chris Booth said it was a complicated project, mainly due to rebuilding the mechanical systems not only on R-4 but other floors in that part of the hospital.

The fourth floor now has 22 rooms, down from 29 before work commenced. With another 27 Progressive Care beds on the third floor, there are now 49 beds in that unit, which is the first step down from Intensive Care.

As patients move into the new rooms, it will reduce the number of patients on the hospital’s other floors. CVPH will have only three shared rooms once the new unit is full, Booth said.

FEWER TRANSFERS

The rooms measure around 160 to 190 square feet, up from 120 to 160 square feet previously. Booth said the smallest room is about the same as the largest room on any other floor, so there is more room for family and other visitors.

Patients will now be able to remain in the same room as they are downgraded from Progressive Care, so the number of patient transfers is expected to drastically decline.

The hospital averaged about 22,000 patient transfers a year in the semi-private-room system; being moved can create stress for patients.

FUNCTIONS

Each room features the latest telemetry systems, so nurses and doctors can access computer systems at bedside. Telemetry screens are also placed throughout the hall and at the nurse’s stations, so vital signs can be monitored outside the room.

The handicapped-accessible bathrooms feature Corian infection-resistant surfaces. The epoxy floor has a surface-level drain, so the entire room can be used as a shower area.

The storage cabinets for each room can be stocked from the hallway, without disturbing the patient.

“That’s a great infection-control feature,” Booth said.

Locked medication preparation rooms are on each side of the floor, so work can be done without having to go from one side to the other.

EMPHASIS ON QUIET

The vinyl flooring has a hardwood appearance, and rooms feature a calming color scheme. The goal was to create as much of a home-like appearance as possible, Booth said.

It was when he shut the door that the effectiveness of the double-insulated walls became apparent. The chatter and bustle from the hallways was almost entirely eliminated, aided by the soft whisper of a white-noise system designed to block out noise in the human voice range.

“The patient will have a better chance of getting a good night’s sleep,” Booth said.

TEAM PROJECT

Planning for the project began in 2011. It involved architects, patient representatives, the hospital’s facilities and support services staff, patient-care operations, medical and nursing staff and construction management personnel.

“This is the culmination of that effort,” Booth said.

Mundy thanked the contractors for working as cleanly and quietly as possible and people who were hospitalized for their patience during the project, which took about a year.

Congressman Bill Owens (D-Plattsburgh) said he was pleased to have worked with the staff at CVPH for 27 years before he was elected to Congress. 

“This is an important part of the community,” he said, noting that the new rooms will help put patients in a good frame of mind, which will lead to a speedier recovery.

State Assemblywoman Janet Duprey (R-Peru), who has served on the hospital’s Board of Directors multiple times, said the new rooms are amazing.

“I think having these private rooms ... is essential to a patient’s recovery,” she said.

Email Dan Heath:dheath@pressrepublican.com

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