Thomas Warner
LRMC Public Affairs

***image2***The first phase of expanding Landstuhl Regional Medical Center’s Intensive Care Unit was completed March 29, when contractors completed renovation of the adjacent Ambulatory Procedure Unit. The hospital celebrated the six-month renovation project with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Landstuhl’s ICU and APU are in the same wing, and the ultimate goal is to be able to combine them when the ICU cannot handle a surge of patients. The renovation of the APU, where same-day surgery patients go for recovery, includes an upgrade of same-day surgery and an expansion of the ICU.

Landstuhl hospital officials, including deputy commander for nursing Col. Carol Gilmore and specialty care nursing OIC Lt. Col. Marie Berry, set up a ribbon-cutting to celebrate the event.

Currently, Landstuhl’s ICU has 12 rooms. The renovated APU opens six more beds that can be used as additional ICU beds. A future renovation project calls for upgrades to the remaining six APU rooms and should be completed by June.

“This whole side of the building is now ICU-capable,” LRMC commander Col. W. Bryan Gamble said. “But this is not as much about capability as it is about environmental improvements.”

Colonel Gamble and Guy Boisvert, of LRMC’s Facilities Management Division,  pointed to such improvements as new flooring, ceiling panels, paint, wallpaper, tiling and furniture. This area of the hospital has not been updated for over a decade.

“The health care for patients was never in question,” said Mr. Boisvert. “These improvements provide a more pleasant atmosphere for both patients and staff. The new lighting certainly enhances the environment.”

Hospital staff did much of the work themselves, with contractors completing what workers were unable to do. 

“The staffs of workers who actually put down the new floor and did most of this can really look now with pride,” said Mr. Boisvert. “Those builders and engineers bridged their efforts, and the finished product is completely positive.”

Also new on the wing are patient rooms which feature new television sets and DVD players. Additionally, doctors can gain quicker views of x-rays and patient information using a newly installed wireless local area network.

“The staff can take a laptop computer and pull up needed information from electronic medical records,” said Tech. Sgt. Anthony Griffin.

A central monitoring system allows staff to monitor patients from either bedside or from behind the nurses’ station, giving nurses more flexibility to care for patients.

Maj. Gennette Green, head APU nurse, said staff members handled the transition with professionalism.

“We went into it with a plan and we simply executed the plan,” she said. “The patients have been just that – patient. And the staff has never buckled. Our busiest day was when we had only two available APU rooms but we prepped 26 patients for procedures in LRMC’s eight operating rooms.

“The renovation went off pretty much with no problems.  Our staff spends extra time making things comfortable for our patients.”