How to keep your ASC operational during renovations — 7 tips

Keeping an ASC operational during major renovation and construction projects requires extensive planning and consideration, according to an ASC Focus article by Robert Kurtz.

Here are seven strategies for minimizing the impact on patient care:

1. Have a vision. The vision should entail planned changes, as well as how those changes will affect patients and staff.

"If you want to remain open while undertaking renovations, whether they are minor or major, carefully consider your patients' and staffs' perspectives so that construction has as minimal of an impact on their experience as possible," said Jeffrey Drucker, vice president of Array Architects' Northeast and New England regions.

2. Develop a plan. Use an architect with healthcare experience and knowledge of local, state and federal requirements when developing renovation plans. Consider completing the project in phases.

"If you choose to do so, each phase should be planned out with a separate safety plan. The construction company you choose should understand all aspects of your safety plans to ensure its employees are always following the plans," said Kerri Ubaldi, RN, Ridgefield, Conn.-based Merritt Healthcare's vice president of operations.

3. Use mock-ups. Davenport, Iowa-based Mississippi Valley Surgery Center created a mock-up of each new preoperative and postoperative room out of cardboard while working on a multi-million dollar addition and renovation, ASC Focus reports. Nurses and technicians were asked to review how equipment and features were placed and to adjust as they saw fit.

4. Coordinate around patient services. During the planning phase, schedule major construction activities, such as hammering, drilling and electrical shutdowns, for times least likely to interfere with patient care.

"You need a mindset focused on ensuring a cordial atmosphere conducive to providing good services while construction happens," Mr. Drucker told ASC Focus.

5. Make patients aware. Instruct nurses and front office staff to inform patients about construction before they arrive. Patient greeters and signage can help ensure patients know where to go and how to get there. Also provide instructions for postal and linen deliveries.

"Little things like that can make a project of this magnitude a success," said Mississippi Valley Surgery Center President and CEO Michael Patterson, RN.

6. Review construction. Meet with staff to make sure they understand how construction is proceeding and address any concerns they have. Mississippi Valley Surgery Center reviews construction daily to make sure dust and debris don't invade care spaces.

7. Show gratitude. Construction is likely to impact patients in some way. Show you appreciate their patience and understanding by giving them gift cards, food or coffee for any inconvenience. For staff, provide lunches, small gifts or bonuses if they experience major disruptions to their workflow.

Read the full article on ASC Focus.

More articles on improving performance:
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