The remodeling of Riverside Medical Center’s Physical Therapy Department resulted in more space for its employees and more privacy for its patients.
The project was completed in mid August, and the public is invited to visit the department and see the changes.
An open house will be held from 3-5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 30.
The department is located in the lower level of the 902 Building on RMC’s campus.
“We were running out of space. We made use of all the space we had to the point where we could not move anything around, including people,” said Bruce Pierson, Rehabilitation Services manager.
Employees often found themselves having to rearrange things.
“In 2010, we started talking about this and gathering data,” he said.
Early in 2011, physicians, patients and representatives from different areas within the ThedaCare system were brought together for a Rapid Improvement Event, Pierson said.
They looked at the data, which had been collected.
“One thing that came out of it,” he said, “was the staff does a great job of accommodating but wasted a lot of time. That was really eye opening in the whole process.”
The financing for the project was approved in early 2012, and then the hospital waited for the state to review it.
That took until February of this year.
On March 11, the remodeling project began.
Boldt Construction was the contractor, and Pierson said the work took place in three phases.
“We had to keep working,” he said. “We took over the Maasch Education Center rooms on the ground level. We had reception up there and did some therapy up there. Our patients were patient.”
The primary thing gained was privacy for patients, Pierson said.
“We now have walled treatment rooms,” he said.
There are seven treatment rooms, with each room set up the same.
Most of the rooms measure about 10-by-12 feet. That compares to the 8-by-10 curtained rooms the department previously had.
The department has been located in the 902 Building since 1991, the year the building was constructed. Prior to that, the department was located in the hospital.
Through the years, the Physical Therapy Department had expanded into various areas.
“With the construction, we were able to make the whole level a large suite,” Pierson said. “We have gradually taken over the lower level through the years.”
The remodeling of the area gave the department more space and improved the work flow.
“Before, we were unable to meet patient demand,” he said. “Now, we should be able to bring in two additional full-time physical therapists while also maintaining our clinic within Health and Fitness Headquarters.”
That clinic is also open Monday through Friday and has 2.5 therapists there.
The staff on the RMC campus includes five physical therapists, three physical therapist assistants, a part-time occupational therapist and a part-time speech therapist.
The remodeled space includes a functional area, the addition of a new piece of equipment for arms and legs, with the equipment the department already had incorporated.
In addition, the project included new lighting, which is 30 percent more efficient, a new floor and for the first time, locker rooms, located off of the staff work room.
Hand rails were added in the hallway for patient safety.