Rhonda Wallace, Director of Maternal & Child Services
Q: What will make the biggest difference to our patients?
Wallace: The spaciousness of our new birthing rooms will better accommodate the needs of our growing families and their newborns. In addition to being nicely updated, each birthing room will be equipped with a whirlpool tub that can be used for pain management during labor and after delivery. Our expanding waiting area will provide a comfortable space for family and friends as they await the arrival of a new baby or if they need to step out to provide privacy for mother and baby.
We are especially excited about the opportunity to have a cesarean suite located on our birthing unit and the benefits that it will provide our patients. Having the surgical suite closer will allow nursing staff to function more efficiently during emergency situations. In addition, moms and babies will have little to no separation following a cesarean birth, facilitating that precious bonding time and skin-to-skin care that is so important in the first two hours of life.
Q: What kind of impact will these changes bring to the staff?
Wallace: Our beautiful new birthing rooms will have built in features that will allow us to store equipment and supplies in the patient rooms, allowing for more efficient workflows. The OB nursing staff will spend less time moving cumbersome equipment. This will also decrease wear and tear on the equipment (and nursing staff). The new unit design will allow us to staff more efficiently for cesarean deliveries and during times of high census. We will have the potential of utilizing overflow rooms which will prevent us from having to move moms and babies off of the OB Unit.
With improved WIFI capabilities, we will be able to work more efficiently and keep up with the rapidly changing technology for fetal monitoring, interpretation services, and other medical equipment.
Q: What are you, personally, looking forward to with the remodeling project?
Wallace: I am personally looking forward to having my office located on the birthing unit. This will help me to be more aware of the activity on the unit and to be more readily available as a resource for staff and patients. I’m also very excited about our lactation consultation room! We are currently expanding the lactation services that we offer to both inpatients and outpatients. A designated lactation room that is specifically designed for the comforts and needs of a breastfeeding mother will provide a soothing environment for our patients during consultation sessions. This room will also offer a private and comfortable environment for staff members who need to use a breast pump while at work.
Danielle Skala, Director of Nursing
Q: What are the components of the new inpatient rooms that you believe will make the biggest difference to our patients?
Skala: We are focusing on making the rooms welcoming and comfortable for patients and their support systems. The views from every room will include an unrestricted view of the surrounding rural beauty. The bathrooms will be large and will be so much easier to navigate in than our current bathrooms. I am very excited about the increased areas for patients and families. There will be great waiting areas and private consultation and education areas, which we do not currently have.
Q: What kind of impact will these changes bring to the staff?
Skala: The change that will impact the staff the most is the size of the patient rooms. They will be smaller than our current rooms due to them being single rooms, where our current rooms are considered double rooms. This will take some getting used to, but the benefit of the bathrooms being larger, every room being a single room, equipment being updated and consistent, and space that allows efficiency will outweigh the change in the size of the rooms. The staff will really appreciate the Nurse’s station because Med/Surg and ICU will share this space. The ICU will now have easier access to resources to the unit when or if needed.
Q: What are you personally looking forward to with the remodeling project?
Skala: Honestly, I am most excited about the staff getting a new unit. These women and men are the hardest working, most dedicated staff I have ever encountered. This project will not change the quality of care that the patients get because they already get the very best care possible. Now, the staff can provide this care in an improved environment that will be calming, comfortable, and welcoming to our customers! Each and every one of the staff sincerely care about every patient, the organization, and this great community that we serve!
Ryan Teasdale, Facilities Director
Q: Construction vehicles and trailers are in the back parking lot, but we don’t see much going on. Has construction started?
Teasdale: “Absolutely. We have been under construction for 3 weeks, mostly demolition work. We are clearing spaces so that we may start framing in offices for our business and fiscal services staff. Their future home will be in the basement of the Nursing and Rehabilitation Center (NRC). We are also clearing the 2nd floor (above SSM Health-Dean Family Medicine Clinic) and framing spaces for the new SSM Health-Dean Specialty Clinic and UHH-Contracted Specialty Physicians.”
Q: Is progress going as planned?
Teasdale: “Yes. The processes and communications are going very well.”
Q: What will the next 2 months bring?
Teasdale: “We will complete the Business and Fiscal Services offices in the basement of the NRC. Demolition will start inside the north end of 1st Floor (adjacent to SSM Health-Dean Family Medicine Clinic) and we’ll begin framing in offices for Administration. After the holidays, we will complete the 2nd Floor Specialty Services Clinics and the Administration offices. When the Specialty physicians have been moved to their new space, we can start remodeling the space they are in now.”
Q: How will wayfinding and patient access improve with this project?
Teasdale: “We plan to upgrade both interior and exterior signage throughout our entire campus. I am collecting proposals for a ‘wayfinding package’ now. Our goal is to improve the clarity and visibility of signs everywhere, from the parking lots, to clinics, to restrooms. Our signage will change how we refer to our floors, which has often caused confusion. We will no longer use the term “Ground Floor.” Our floors will be labeled: Lower Level, 1st Floor and 2nd Floor.”
Q: From your point of view, what will be the most important benefit resulting from
this building project?
Teasdale: “Efficiency… for patients and for staff. We are essentially building an ‘activity hub’ in the center of our campus. Patients will be able to access more services closer to a main entrance. Our materials management, housekeeping and dietary staff will be traveling shorter distances and service carts will be transported through back hallways, rather than through main corridors. Efficiency will improve dramatically.”
Brad Jebbia, Director of Surgical Services
Q: What are the components of the surgical expansion that you believe will make the biggest difference for our patients?
Jebbia: "Our surgical space is meeting our needs now, I don’t want to give the impression that it’s not. But we are excited about the efficiencies that the new space will bring. We will be able to accommodate more patients, with the freedom to schedule surgeons without constraints.
Something that I think the patients will really appreciate is the location of surgery to the entrance. They won’t have to walk down the long hallway anymore, it will be right there when they enter the building.
It’s going to be great for families because there will be a nice, central place to wait. The waiting room is private and reserved for surgical patients and their families."
Q: What difference will the new surgical space make for our staff?
Jebbia: "The surgical spaces will be larger, so employees will have more space to move around. The equipment will be suspended on booms, instead of placed on the floor, so the equipment will be easier to manipulate."
Q: How does this expansion position us for the future?
Jebbia: "By having equipment on booms in larger operating rooms, it will allow us to easily adapt to new equipment, techniques and specialties. We will also be shelling out space for a third operating room (OR), so when there is a need for more space, we will have the ability to adapt. We are building space for the future."
Dr. Tim Raichle, OB/GYN
Our hospital is full of caring people at every level that truly have the best interest of the patients we serve in mind. This is what first attracted me to move my practice to Upland Hills Health. Then, when I learned that this hospital would undergo a remodel, my decision was made! Since I have been employed as a physician at Upland Hills Health my experience has been excellent.
I’ve worked in hospitals and clinics in Dane County where these upgrades have been in place for years. I see a great opportunity for Upland Hills Health to continue to provide superior care in a facility that matches the much larger systems around us.
Have you ever come to Upland Hills Health for a surgery or to deliver a baby? If you have, you know these times can be filled with emotion. Our facility can have significant impact on your experience. It has an effect on you, as the patient, and on the people taking care of you. Your physical surroundings can have a calming effect and lead to improvements in your experience and the care that is provided.
I am most excited about the following improvements:
- The Birthing Suites will see a significant upgrade. We are going to improve how they look and how they function. There are plans to improve access to operating rooms in cases of obstetric emergencies. Our birthing suites will soon rival those in Dane County.
- The surgical area at Upland Hills Health will benefit as well. The operating rooms will be updated, as well as the spaces where time is spent before and after procedures. These spaces should be private, roomy and comforting. This is important for patients and the providers who are taking care of them.
Successful businesses strive to exceed expectations. It is not acceptable to approach healthcare with "good enough" as the goal. When you need care, you are often at your most vulnerable. At this time it is more important than ever to exceed expectations.
I came to Upland Hills to practice Obstetrics & Gynecology and have never regretted my decision. When I learned of the expected upgrades I was even more excited about my decision. I believe the patient experience will improve with these renovations and we will see an enhanced ability to attract and recruit top physicians and staff for you.