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Guest Editor: Break Ground and Dig In
New builds and renovation projects can be stress-filled journeys, but the end results are well worth the many bumps in the road.
Byron Burlingame
Publish Date: February 3, 2021   |  Tags:   Opinion

It's often obvious when you outgrow your current space. At one of my former hospitals, the surgical schedule extended way too late in the day, surgeons weren't happy, and patients and staff complained about delayed case starts. I begged the administration to approve the addition of several much-needed ORs, but couldn't get their buy-in.

Finally, I approached my director of nursing for help, and she told me exactly what type of information and data I'd need to present in order to get upper management to greenlight the project. I followed her advice and, just like that, my wish was granted. The experience taught me a valuable lesson about managing surgical construction: You need allies in your corner, and you need to do your homework.

From determining how many new ORs we needed and where the rooms needed to go, to figuring out how the project would affect other areas of the hospital, every phase of the renovation journey was a learning experience for me.

After lots of discussion between myself, our charge nurse and the head of sterile processing, we opted to make one of our ORs into part of sterile processing and construct two brand-new ORs in an adjacent space that had served as our medical records area. Our pre- and post-op departments would receive facelifts, and the procedure room where endoscopies were performed would be converted into a pre- and post-op patient room.

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