After 20 months of labor, the Family Place at Evangelical Community Hospital has delivered a complete and fully renovated obstetric unit for mothers and newborns.
The renovations, which began in late 2012, have officially come to an end and all rooms in the unit are open to patients.
On average 1,000 babies are born each year at The Family Place
"Every birth experience at The Family Place is unique and special. It was very important for the staff to have a fully operational unit while we updated the surroundings. We were very aware of the disruption renovating while having the wing open could cause and always made sure the patient experience was not affected," said Jennifer Miller, director of maternal nursing for The Family Place.
That sometimes meant working on days when the census was low and placing patients as far as possible away from areas of construction.
And for the absolute safety of patients, each active zone was completely blocked off from patients using eco-barriers that kept dust, construction debris and noise completely contained in one small area.
For staff, the 20 months included going above and beyond to make sure patients were comfortable, with as little disturbance as possible and finding ways to diminish noise and focus on delivering the same standard of care they are accustomed to providing.
The nearly $4.7 million renovation included a top-to-bottom overhaul to replicate the comforts of home.
Some of those changes are more noticeable than others including flat-screen TV; cushioned reclining armchairs in private birthing rooms; new paint, flooring, and cabinetry; and wood-based baby bassinets so newborns can remain with their parents in the room rather than going to the nursery.
Other improvements may not be as easily seen. Individual temperature controls in the rooms make it possible for each mom to control her environment while waiting and after giving birth.
A state-of-the-art nurse call system makes it possible for patients to tell their nurse what they might need before they even come to the room, such as pain treatment, bathroom assistance, a glass of water and more.
An expanded information technology room and an updated air-handling system are designed for clean air, comfort, convenience, and efficiency of care but are in the background of what is happening with
direct patient care.
Also included in the new unit are a newly added family waiting room area and updated labor and delivery rooms that include whirlpool tubs and are designed for patients with special needs in compliance with the American Disabilities Act.
The updated accommodations bring the surroundings up to the stellar level of care that has always been provided by the professional staff. The Family Place's team of well-trained, compassionate professionals are skilled in all areas of obstetrical care, with subspecialist care in fetal monitoring, pediatric nursing, and inpatient obstetrics. Every nurse at the Family Place is trained to provide all nursing care from admission to discharge so each patient can rest assured her care will be consistent and comprehensive.
"We're proud that our renovation project has come to a successful end and that our patients and their families will benefit from our enhanced surroundings," said Miller. "But at the heart of our care are the people who make each birthing experience a memorable one. Their care combined with the now more comfortable accommodations makes The Family Place a top choice in obstetric care for mom and new baby."
Evangelical is a non-profit organization that employs approximately 1626 individuals and has more than 170 employed and non-employed physicians on staff. The Hospital is licensed to accommodate 132 overnight patients, 12 acute rehab patients and 18 bassinets.
The Hospital serves residents throughout the Central Susquehanna Valley, including those living in Snyder, Union, Northumberland, and Lycoming Counties.