PMC Open House Showcases Renovation Project

The end result of yearlong renovations to Prowers Medical Center was on display this past Thursday, September 22nd, during the hospital’s open house.  Residents were taken to each of the five areas in groups of ten by hospital employees where they viewed the expanded facilities and were given an explanation of how the renovations will help provide improved medical services for the surrounding communities.  Although visitors to the PMC campus could witness how the outside structure of the hospital was altered and expanded during construction, most of the renovation was taking place inside the buildings with a goal of creating more working space for medical staff and patients.

Those five areas were: Materials Management, where PMC employee, Connie Hill described how more supplies are now kept available for departments within the hospital and the ease by which they can be accessed.  One important change she noted is needed supplies can now be directly accessed from the sterile environment of the operation rooms through a separate hallway that are stocked from her side of the main storeroom.  She explained, “This will help avoid unnecessary contact, improve sanitization procedures and shorten the time needed to maintain their shelves.  She added, “We are constantly working to reduce the costs of materials by buying our supplies 99% of the time on contract.  It’s cheaper for the hospital and less costly for our patients.  It’s our way of improving the bottom line for everyone through discounts and special pricing.”

The size of the new operating theater has been doubled which offers more privacy for both pre and post op patients. People are no longer separated by just a curtain as they prepare for or recover from their surgical procedure.  Another new addition is a private consultation room where a patient, their family and doctor can discuss their medical treatments.  Following the renovation, the surgery suites have been equipped with the latest equipment that can be found in any operating room in the state.  The operating room offers more lighting, a large, flat-screen tv monitor which shows the operation procedure in real time and in exact detail.  The surgeon and nurses have more space to move about and the majority of electric cables have been removed from the floor or many are installed in a central overhead tower.  A new corridor was also added that allows a patient to be taken to and from the operating room without being wheeled through public areas.

The emergency department greatly improved to offer more privacy and security. The expanded waiting area is devoted only to that purpose, with no access from other departments.  The new wait area is now secure and the only way to access the hospital after 8pm, whether it’s for visitation of patients or other matters.  All persons must pass through security doors to get into the hospital which prevents anyone from entry into the halls after regular business hours.

The entryway to emergency rooms has been relocated from the north side, opposite to the southeast side of Prowers Medical Center. Visitors gain entrance through the parking area directly to the nurses desk adjacent to a triage room where a medical assessment can be made.  There are now two ambulance bay doors which are located two to a side, north and south adjacent to the emergency room.  This change provides indoor accessibility to the patients from the vehicles where they are sheltered from any inclement weather.

The rehabilitation gym is both a remarkable and must-needed change at the hospital. Instead of crowding patients into a small area for exercise or using the hallway for walks or developing mobility and both strength, PMC has created an modern and spacious facility.  A glassed wall offers patients a view of the campus, a mirrored wall provides them with an opportunity to view if their exercises are performed in the correct manner and there’s plenty of additional floorspace to move around in as well as additional exercise equipment.

The renovation project which began the April before last and estimated to cost $10M was self-funded by Prowers Medical Center through its general fund revenues. Additional improvements to the facility included a new boiler and RO system as well as a major overhaul to the HVAC and electric system.  Prowers Medical Center is also employing a new logo which will be on display through the hospital district.

by Russ Baldwin



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