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'Better outcomes' in a new ICU at KSB Hospital

KSB project cost $2.8 million

DIXON – The new and old intensive care units at KSB Hospital are separated by a floor and 30 years.

After nearly 18 months on planning and construction, the public will get its first look during an open house Wednesday. The new ICU, which emphasizes patient and family comfort and work efficiency, cost the hospital $2.8 million.

The new ICU has twice the space, more technology, more efficient work spaces and an isolation room to prevent airborne diseases from spreading.

It will be open for patients in about a month, said hospital President David Schreiner, after it receives final approvals from the state.

Click here to see video from SVM's tour of the ICU

While doing the research and planning, the hospital determined it didn't need to expand its current ICU capacity, Schreiner said, so the new third floor facility will have six patient rooms.

The old ICU is on the fourth floor of the hospital and will be turned into administrative meeting space, officials said, because the cost of renovating it for other medical uses was too expensive.

The new ICU is one floor closer to the emergency room and has an elevator dedicated to making trips for patients more private. They previously used the public elevators in the hospital.

Each of the six ICU patient rooms can be customized to fit the needs of patients and their families, said Val Pfoutz, the ICU director.

That customization begins with the instrument panels, Pfoutz said, which not only are more ergonomic for the staff, but also allows the patient to move around the room with greater ease.

"Everything moves with the patient," she said.

Linda Clemen, chief nursing officer, said there's an emphasis for a patient's family to stay with them for extended periods of time.

"Pushing for family-centered care is kind of a new concept to help with healing," she said. "Historically, you might be able to come back every hour for 15 minutes. We're encouraging [family members] to stay with their loved one and be a part of the process and part of the plan to care."

To make that more accommodating, the rooms have more space, chairs and even a bed that can be folded out of the couch area. The cords and wires for all the equipment is off the floor, making it safer for the staff and the patient.

The rooms also have a lift system, to make moving the patient easier and safer. The lifts are connected to the ceiling, so a patient can be moved to the toilet, to the closet or even to a more comfortable position in bed without the help of several nurses or family members.

"It's full room coverage," Pfoutz said. "Obviously, it's a safety concern. And our staff loves these lifts."

There are decentralized nurses stations near all the rooms, where a nurse can see their patients and respond quickly. Patient medication is also stored in these individual stations.

There are LED lights in the hallways, which are more energy efficient and easier to place in the cramped ceiling panels. The floors pattern was even picked with the patient in mind.

"Our designers told us that if you have long, uninterrupted space, it's more difficult for people with mental status changes," Schreiner said. "It's confusing if you have all [the same] color flooring."

The hallway in the ICU has a look of hardwood floors, but with large beige blocks leading to each room.

Each of the rooms also has a new call system to go along with the phones that medical staff has on their hips. That system can alert a specific response team or hospital specialist that their needed in a specific room in the ICU.

Nurses can also set up reminders to check in on patients.

"It's just reminders for the patients," Pfoutz said. "So we can get them the care that they need – better outcomes."

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