LRH Building Renovations to Begin in May
Lakes Regional Healthcare’s (LRH) Board of Trustees has approved proceeding with a $1.7 million renovation project. The project will provide new space for Rehabilitation Services such as Physical and Occupational Therapy, provide new, permanent space for Northwest Iowa Bone, Joint and Sports Surgeons (NWIBJ), and relocate the Education Center to the hospital’s lower level.
Remodeling and construction will begin in mid-May with anticipated completion in early fall. According to LRH President and CEO Jason Harrington, “Remodeling the space will be done in two steps. The first step will be to remodel the hospital’s lower level to prepare it as the new Education Center. Once that is complete in early May, we will remodel the existing Education Center into the future home of rehabilitation services. Also, at that time, the space for Northwest Iowa Bone, Joint and Sports Surgeons will be constructed. Both spaces are located just inside the hospital’s south entrance on the first floor, and will not disturb patient care.”
Once the renovation is complete, rehabilitation patients and NWIBJ patients will be able to access care more easily. Parking spaces are located just outside the south entrance, and the remodeled areas are on the first floor just inside the south entrance, allowing people to access care in just a few short steps. Harrington said, “Patients increasingly want improved access to care and a more comfortable environment in which that care is provided. We hope this renovation will not only meet, but exceed our patients’ expectations in this regard.”
The renovation project is considered Phase One in a five phase facility plan. “We’ve spent considerable time studying the changing landscape of healthcare and the evolving needs and expectations of patients. We’ve been working with a great architectural team out of Des Moines that has a wealth of experience and knowledge about healthcare design and where it’s headed,” Harrington said. “We’ve also worked with our staff to identify inefficiencies in our current facility layout so we can address them as we move forward with the plan.”
Phase Two focuses on having inpatient and surgical services concentrated on the hospital’s east side. Specifically, it includes relocating the Critical Care Unit to the hospital’s south wing on the second floor, relocating Surgery and Obstetric Services and Patient Registration to the hospital’s northeast corner, and adding new signage and landscaping on the hospital’s east and west sides. Harrington said, “We don’t have a timeframe set to proceed with this phase yet, but hope to do so within the next two years.”
Phase Three focuses on having outpatient services concentrated on the hospital’s west side. It specifically includes creating a new two-story, grand entrance to serve as a hub to Outpatient Services. It also includes renovating the existing surgery space into space to provide outpatient services such as Medical Oncology and Cardiac Rehabilitation. Diagnostics Imaging space will also be expanded during this phase.
Phase Four includes relocating the Emergency Department to the hospital’s north side, just west of the new Surgery Department. It also includes remodeling the hospital’s cafeteria and laboratory.
Phase Five includes constructing a new, two-story medical office building in the old emergency department’s location. Harrington said, “A medical office building as we have planned would do a lot to attract physicians to provide care here, and be a benefit to patients in this area. However, the master facility plan is a long-range plan and therefore, a work in progress. The last phase of the project won’t occur for a long time, and many things could happen to affect the plan as it is currently, especially the later phases. Our ability to carry out this plan hinges upon the future financial performance of the hospital, the support of the community through our newly created Foundation, and the overall impact that recent healthcare reform changes will have on the delivery of care.”
Harrington added, “As we go through the phases in our master facility plan, patients will be cared for in a much more efficient manner, yet more privately, and the environment in which they receive that care will be greatly enhanced.”