Health Care

Corrected: Via Christi completes first unit in private-room conversion project

Editor’s note: This story has updated to correct information about the contractor and architect on the project.

Via Christi Health said it has completed converting 8SW, a general medical unit at St. Francis, into 20 private rooms.

The converted unit includes “computer cubbies” outside each patient room instead of a central nursing station.

“I’m excited for us to begin a new era in patient care — one where the environment is conducive to best practices and patient healing,” Darrell Youngman, Via Christi Health chief medical officer, said in a news release.

New features of the 8SW unit also include nine cross-over hallways for nurses to get from one side of the unit to the other more quickly. Patient rooms in the reconfigured unit include remote controls for lights and window blinds, sleeping couches for family, large closets and USB ports for computers and mobile devices. The patient rooms also include wall-mounted computers for nurses and clinical staff.

“Not only is this unit beautiful, but it puts nurses much closer to the bedside,” Jenny Rieger, 8SW clinical care coordinator, said in the release. “That will allow them to have more time with each of their patients.”

The 8SW conversion is part of a larger project by Via Christi Health to convert rooms at St. Francis and St. Joseph to private rooms, and the project also will include reconfiguration of work spaces for staff. When complete in 2016, Via Christi expects to have 350 private rooms at St. Francis and 90 at St. Joseph.

Conco Construction was the general contractor for the St. Francis project, and Freeman White was the architect.