When the new tower opens at UConn John Dempsey Hospital this spring, it will feature the latest in patient privacy and safety.
The addition of the new tower enables the hospital to complete the move away from the two-patient-to-a-room model that was standard when it opened four decades ago.
Once the relocations and renovations are complete, the new and old towers will combine to house 234 licensed beds, each in its own room with its own accessible bathroom and a patient recliner, also industry standard.
“Having one patient per room comes with a number of advantages, including a reduced risk in cross-infection,” says hospital CEO Anne Diamond. “Plus, it’s a much more private setting for both patients and their families A pullout loveseat gives a family member a place to stay overnight if desired. These new rooms also are designed in a way that reduces noise, making for a more peaceful stay. Really, it’s all about a safer and more satisfying patient experience.”
In addition to maximizing privacy, these patient rooms are larger, allowing more room for patients and caregivers to maneuver safely.
With computers in each room providing patient documentation in real time, portable central monitoring devices, and a supply cabinet system accessible from inside the room while stocked from the outside, nursing staff can spend more time in the room with the patient.
UConn John Dempsey Hospital’s emphasis on safe patient handling is evident, as the new tower comes with 80 ceiling lifts that minimize fall risk to patients and injury risk to clinical staff while mobilizing them.
“A lot of staff injuries are boosting patients in bed, because it’s one of the repetitive tasks nurses have to perform,” says inpatient supervisor Kim Silverman. “This is allowing them to minimize that repetitive activity. And because it’s installed in the ceiling it’s right there, and promotes faster, easier use of safe patient handling and mobility.”
Nursing staff will also have access to other types of lifting devices to help move patients requiring assistance during all mobility activities, such as traveling from bed to bathroom or from inpatient room to the physical therapy gym or radiology.
Another important safety element to the new tower is the requirement of fire and life safety training specific to the building.
“Everyone who works in the new tower will be prepared to handle an emergency in that building and react appropriately,” says Mell Hobson, director of staff and patient education and professional development. “It’s standard training but it’s crucial to the safety of our patients, visitors, and staff.”