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The New Huggins Hospital, Part Three

SECOND FLOOR PLAN OF THE NEW HUGGINS HOSPITAL (courtesy of Huggins Hospital) (click for larger version)
February 25, 2010
[Editor's Note: This is the third part of a three-part series prepared by Huggins Hospital to present our readers with a view of the new facility now nearing completion. The first part put the new facility in context with the hospital's role in the community, and the second part included a virtual tour of the first floor of the new building. This final part concludes the virtual tour.]


WOLFEBORO — In the previous articles, we talked about the decision to build a new hospital and took a tour of the first floor. This week, we'll finish that tour by taking a closer look at the Surgical Services Unit. Then we'll head up to the second floor, which you can see on the floor plan included with this article.

Surgical Services Unit

The Surgical Services Unit is located adjacent to the Emergency Department, making patient transport, when necessary, easier and more efficient for the patient and medical staff. The new Surgical Services Unit will have three operating rooms (the current hospital has two and one procedure room). The new operating tables will have increased versatility for optimal positioning during surgical procedures. In addition, we will have be a new orthopedic fracture table, which is used when repairing fractured hips and legs.

Each of the operating rooms will be equipped with LED lights which are brighter, produce little heat as compared to most surgical lights and will allow for improved visualization of the operating field. New high-definition monitors will provide the surgeons with improved clarity of the surgical field during laparoscopic procedures. Each room will also have "equipment booms" which will house the control wires for the equipment and the medical gases and other utilities providing a safer environment for the surgeons and nurses working in the room. The Surgical Services Unit will also have a larger washer/decontaminator allowing for a quicker turnover time in preparing instruments for other surgical cases. Also, a new low-temperature gas plasma sterilizer will accommodate processing more types of delicate surgical instruments and equipment, which, in turn, increases efficiency in preparing instruments for other procedures.

In addition to new, state-of-the-art equipment, Huggins Hospital already has a highly skilled OR nursing staff. All of the Huggins OR nursing staff members, who are eligible, have received their certification as a CNOR (Certified Nurse, Operating Room). This rigorous certification process requires two years experience and 2,400 hours as a perioperative nurse before the staff member can apply for the exam.

The Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU – also known as Day Surgery) will have eight individual rooms for greater patient privacy and infection control. (In the current PACU, the patients are separated by a curtain). Also within the Day Surgery area, Huggins Hospital offers infusion and transfusion therapy. This includes intravenous steroids, antibiotics and osteoporosis treatments, among many others. For more information about infusion and transfusion therapy at Huggins Hospital, contact Helen Baker, RN at 569-7540.

A Continuum of Care

A very special aspect of Huggins Hospital is our highly skilled continuum of care. Patients are treated from initial injury and/or surgery right through recovery. Our Emergency Department and physicians are available 24 hours a day/seven days a week. From there, if necessary, our new state-of-the-art Surgical Services Unit is conveniently located next to the Emergency Department, with the Laboratory and Medical Imaging close by. After surgery, it's upstairs to the new patient rooms with lots of natural light and a place for a family member to stay, if necessary, while their loved one is recovering.

When it's time for skilled nursing and rehabilitation to begin, it's a convenient admission to the Transitional Care Center of Wolfeboro (formerly Sinclair B). The team of highly experienced and compassionate nurses and occupational, physical and speech therapists are ready to begin the level of inpatient therapy needed. Once the patient is able to go home, the therapists at Back Bay Rehab are there for outpatient therapy to make sure the recovery continues successfully. Many patients continue at Back Bay after their therapy is completed to enjoy the various classes from Water Aerobics to Healthy Lifestyles or join the Fitness for Life program for independent exercise in Back Bay's state-of-the-art facilities. Even if you haven't been a patient at Back Bay Rehab, the facility is open to the community to participate in the wellness classes, to have a massage or to join the Fitness for Life program.

So whether you have experienced an injury or come to Huggins Hospital for surgery, we're here to meet your changing needs every step of the way, all in a convenient location. Huggins Hospital provides a continuum of care that most expect from a large, urban hospital but rarely find close to home.

Up to the second floor

Let's head up to the second floor now. As you come off the elevators, you will see the primary nursing station. Next to the primary nursing station, there will be a separate reception area with a health unit coordinator who will be there to direct you as you come off the elevator and answer questions. There are a couple of nursing sub-stations on the floor that will give the nursing staff the convenience of being closer to the patient rooms.

As we walk to the right, we come to the patient rooms. The new private patient rooms meet the approved Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulations for privacy, safety and infection control. Studies have shown that pleasant surroundings with access to loved ones during a hospital stay have been linked to a reduced need for pain medication and a shorter recovery time. Each patient room has a large window, filling it with natural light, open spaces and pastel hues to provide a comfortable and calming environment for patients and their families. The rooms feature the amenities of home, including a sleeping area for a family member who may need to stay the night. Centralized nursing stations offer an efficient and improved work environment for the medical personnel who care for our patients.

As you may know, last year Huggins Hospital began a Hospitalist program. A hospitalist is a physician who works exclusively with patients admitted to the hospital. This inpatient specialist allows the primary care physicians to devote more time to seeing patients in the office rather than dividing their day between office visits and inpatient care. The hospitalist, in turn, is available to patients throughout their stay, coordinating and consulting with specialists, monitoring progress and tests and staying in close contact with families and your health care provider. On the second floor, there is a designated work suite for the hospitalist, who is on call throughout the night. There is a hospitalist available from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. and another hospitalist on call from 5 p.m. to 7 a.m.

Heading back towards the elevators, to the left side of the primary nursing station, we come to the Observation Unit. This section of eight rooms is for those patients who may not need an immediate inpatient stay at Huggins Hospital. An Observation Unit allows physicians to closely monitor patients while providing a dedicated nursing staff with its own nursing station. This also keeps costs down for the patient who can be monitored and treated in the short term without being admitted as a patient for a longer stay. Having a dedicated Observation Unit also makes treatment rooms available in the Emergency Department allowing for shorter waiting times for emergency patients.

Through the doors from the Observation Unit is the Intensive Care Unit or ICU. The ICU is a four-bed unit with a dedicated nursing staff for patients who need comprehensive and continuous monitoring and care. Having the ICU as a separate unit with a dedicated nursing station allows the hospital to close off that section if there are no critically ill patients and combine nursing staff as needed to increase efficiency.

Heading out of the ICU, we come to the Administration offices. Walking back towards the elevators, you will see two large waiting rooms for families with a patient in the hospital. One is a waiting room for the ICU and the other is a waiting room for what is referred to as the "Med-Surg Unit" which consists of the acute care patient rooms on the second floor. Both waiting rooms will have large windows overlooking the front of the hospital with a comfortable seating area to provide families and friends of a loved one a quiet place to rest while waiting to visit a patient.

Between the two waiting rooms is a Library/Resource Room. This area will have computers and a library for staff to use for research. It will also be used to bring in patients and their family members to discuss medical issues and educate the patient and their family on any necessary after care.

So that's the tour of your new Huggins Hospital. While it is exciting to have the new building and technology, the true heart of Huggins Hospital is in our staff who care for you and your loved ones. With our new facility, we will be providing a work environment with state-of-the-art technology in a modern, well-lit and efficiently functioning building. This, in turn, allows our highly experienced staff to provide optimal care in a healing environment for each and every patient.

We'll have more information about the big move coming this spring as we get closer to the date. We hope you'll join us for our Open House Celebration this spring to tour your new hospital before we move our patients in. We'll have more information about that event soon! If you have missed any of these articles, visit the In the News section of the Huggins Hospital Web site at www.hugginshospital.org.

Community Forum on March 10

For more information about Huggins Hospital, the role of a community hospital, changes in health care today and the key highlights of your new hospital, join us for a community forum on Wednesday, March 10, at All Saints Episcopal Church at 258 South Main St. in Wolfeboro. There will be two identical presentations. The first will be at 7:30 a.m. in the church and the second will be at 7 p.m. in the Parish Hall. The community forum will include a question and answer session. If you would like to submit your questions in advance, please e-mail them to askhuggins@hugginshospital.org or mail them to Huggins Hospital, c/o Community Forum, PO Box 912, Wolfeboro, NH 03894. Please RSVP for this free, community event by phone at 515-2094 or by e-mail to askhuggins@hugginshospital.org.

Martin Lord Osman
Brewster Academy
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