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Kevin Ahern

By: Kevin Ahern on April 18th, 2024

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Healthcare Facility Renovations: Adapting to Changing Patient Needs in Connecticut

Commercial | Commercial Remodeling

Healthcare facilities can age quickly. Wear and tear from constant use can cause cosmetic damage as well as physical damage to the walls and floors. In addition, the healthcare industry is one that changes frequently. Innovations in technology and patient care often necessitate changes to facilities to help ensure good patient outcomes. If you own or run a healthcare facility, you know how important it is to maintain modern, comfortable facilities that can facilitate good patient care.

Healthcare settings have a unique set of considerations that impact the renovation process. Maintaining patient safety and protection is critical. This is why it's important to hire a team of capable renovation professionals with knowledge about upgrading healthcare settings. As you're planning your next facility renovation, here's what to consider. 

Potential Benefits of Healthcare Facility Renovation

Reduced risk of infection. Older facilities tend to have problems that can increase the risk of infection. Those problems can range from lack of handwashing stations to finishes that are difficult to clean. Renovations can bring healthcare facilities fully up to code and facilitate the installation of new finishes that are easier to maintain and easier to clean. 

Staff work more efficiently. Modern healthcare facilities are designed to facilitate efficiency for healthcare staff. Renovations can build out spaces for modern equipment to improve staff effectiveness and patient outcomes at the same time.

Make more rooms available. Some healthcare facilities renovate to make space for more rooms, to allow for increased patient capacity. In a growing community, these renovations are essential for meeting the needs of the population. 

Special Considerations When Renovating Connecticut Healthcare Facilities

Healthcare facility renovations are different from renovations of other facility types for many reasons. A primary consideration is that healthcare facilities need special design to facilitate the prevention and control of infection throughout the facility.

In addition, an operational healthcare facility may be servicing at-risk populations at the time of renovation. This requires a plan for ensuring that the healthcare facility can continue to operate safely, even while construction crews are at work on the premises. There are many things that the hospital may do to ensure that patient populations stay safe during and after the renovation is complete. 

Conduct an Infection Control Risk Assessment

An Infection Control Risk Assessment (ICRA) is an assessment of the facility and the risks that could be created during the construction process. The healthcare facility is responsible for creating the ICRA, but may work closely with the contractor and architect to fill in the details of the ICRA.

Once this plan is created, the ICRA is a guide to help control the steps of the construction process and prevent infection. Construction-related dust, foot traffic in and out of the facility and other aspects of the renovation can lead to the spread of infection, so it's vitally important that the ICRA is followed carefully. 

An Infection Preventionist Is Assigned to the Project

Many healthcare facilities utilize an Infection Preventionist (IP) to manage the project and ensure that the renovation is conducted safely. The IP is responsible for the safety of the project as it is happening, and the outcomes of the project as well. For example, the IP must work with the architect and builder to ensure that all necessary infection prevention measures are included in the design.

Once the design is approved and the construction is underway, the IP must also conduct regular walk-throughs of the construction site to ensure that the risk infection protocols outlined in the ICRA are being followed. 

Special Training of the Construction Crew

Safety for patients on the premises is of the utmost importance when it comes to healthcare facility renovations. Often, this means providing special training for the construction crew performing the work.

The IP will work with the construction supervisors and construction safety professionals to ensure that the workers on site are fully trained in preventative measures. This can help protect patients from bacteria, airborne contaminants and other risks that may come from having a functioning construction zone on site. 

How to Get Started With Your Healthcare Facility Renovation in CT

Clearly, it's important when conducting a healthcare facility renovation to work with a contractor that takes safety seriously. Finding a professional with a good reputation and experience renovating healthcare facilities is best. When you're seeking a contractor to perform your healthcare facility renovation, the following tips can help:

  • Vet multiple contractors before setting on the right contractor for the job. When vetting contractors, meet on site and ask a variety of questions about the process. Look for a contractor that communicates and listens well. 
  • Check references from other healthcare facilities that have worked with that contractor in the recent past. Ask them questions about their experience, if they would work with that contractor again, what challenges they encountered during the process, and how that contractor handled those challenges. 
  • Check the contractor's portfolio to see how their work from previous projects turned out. 

Have questions about how you can ensure that your healthcare facility renovation can be conducted safely? It helps to speak with a builder that has experience in this industry. Litchfield Builders has renovated healthcare facilities in the past and we can answer your questions. You can also take a look at our free guide to hiring a professional contractor in Connecticut. Contact us today to get started with your healthcare facility renovations. 

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About Kevin Ahern

Kevin is the Co-Founder of Litchfield Builders, an award-winning, industry leader with a reputation for managing projects others shy away from. They are known for their high-quality work, customer service, and reliability and though still relatively small in size, Litchfield Builders now competes with some of the areas largest firms in both the residential and commercial arenas.