DIXON – KSB Hospital has a whole lot more space.
A $16 million project expanded its surgery and emergency departments by 30,000 square feet.
This means not only bigger patient rooms, but more of them.
Sauk Valley Media took a tour of the new space Thursday. There is an open house for the public Sunday afternoon.
The emergency department director, Sue Prosch, stood near the door of one of the 13 exam rooms. That's up from six before. Outpatient services on the floor above it has 23 patients areas, which is up six.
Even the door, wide enough to fit a bed through, is a new feature.
"Not only do we have more space, it's private," Prosch said. "There's doors on it."
Before, only curtains gave patients privacy.
More space also means spacious offices and break rooms for staff.
"They used to have a combination locker room utility room," Prosch said. "Now they have their own bathroom. They each have their own locker. They have a place to eat. Before, they had a 4-by-4 table in the kitchen with two chairs. So they're very happy with what they have here now."
The project focused on patient privacy and patient safety.
There were dozens of little changes to ensure hospital staff perform quickly and efficiently.
All the rooms are designed the same way with the same instruments in the same drawers. Boards with oxygen and other gases are set up the same way.
This makes it easy for someone from one department to help out in another, Outpatient Services Director Jill Scheffler said.
The surgery room has three screens mounted around the table. A nurse can pull up X-rays and records, whatever the doctor requests, from computers on the side of the room, out of the way of whatever else might be going on.
From those computers, the nurse can adjust the lights and increase the flow of the gas.
"It makes it more convenient for the circulating nurse, and it makes it easier for the doctors, because we can get done faster," Surgery Director Kathy Schafer said.
Not all the records are electronic, but KSB is working department by department, switching over.
There are more screens in the emergency department so nurses know which rooms are occupied.
That same information shows up on a screen leading from the ambulance bay, which also grew from being able to hold two ambulances to three, to the emergency department.
"They wheel them straight off an ambulance, and they bring them in and they know if these two (rooms) are filled or if that one is filled," KSB spokesman Tom Demmer said.
"They know which way to go to get somebody into a room as quickly as possible. They don't need to shout down the hall or anything."
There even are screens in the waiting room to let families know what the status is on their patients, identified by a number to maintain privacy.
"It won't replace that human touch," CEO and President Dave Schreiner said. "We'll still have the nursing staff come up and talk to the families and the physicians come out and talk to the families after the procedure. It's an interim step."
Supplies and medicine are monitored by a new system.
"It's got an extra level of verification there to ensure that you're getting the correct amount, the correct size, the correct whatever," Demmer said. "It's checked in the computer system to ensure you deliver the right thing and the right time."
Even the air going into the hospital is being monitored electronically.
"The air that goes in there has to be sterile," Plant Operations Director Bill Weronko said. "I mean, skin is an excellent barrier to disease, but when you open somebody up in an operation, they're obviously exposed to anything that happens to be there."
Because of this, the air goes through one filtration system that removes about 99 percent of contaminates and then ultraviolet radiation kills the rest.
But it's not just about the technology.
The whole hospital is decorated in rich browns and tans, full of little details like stenciled branches up by the surgery rooms' ceilings.
"There's enough anxiety when you come into the hospital, and we want to be able to reduce that in any way we can," Schreiner said.
"It results in better clinical outcomes. We know the patients get better faster if their anxiety level's reduced.
"A lot of what you see was very intentional to create a soothing environment."
Take the tour
KSB Hospital, 403 E. First St., will have an open house from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday to show off its expanded and upgraded emergency and surgical departments.
There will be tours and refreshments.
Go to saukvalley.com to see videos detailing the project and some of the improvements.