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Concord Hospital to open newly renovated $11.6 million surgery wing

  • Joseph Conley, Chief Operating Officer of the Concord Hospital tours the newly renovated operating room for day surgeries; November 14, 2012. The Concord Hospital will be opening a part of their renovated day surgery unit on November 29, 2012.<br/><br/>(SAMANTHA GORESH / Monitor Staff)

    Joseph Conley, Chief Operating Officer of the Concord Hospital tours the newly renovated operating room for day surgeries; November 14, 2012. The Concord Hospital will be opening a part of their renovated day surgery unit on November 29, 2012.

    (SAMANTHA GORESH / Monitor Staff) Purchase photo reprints at PhotoExtra »

  • Diane Allan (left), Chief Nursing Officer of Concord Hospital shows Lorraine Fournier, Senior Resource Person of the Day Surgery Center, how much easier it will be to move the lights in the newly renovated operating rooms as Heather Smith (center), Director of the Day Surgery Center points out other changes; November 14, 2012. The Concord Hospital will be opening a part of their renovated day surgery unit on November 29, 2012.<br/><br/>(SAMANTHA GORESH / Monitor Staff)

    Diane Allan (left), Chief Nursing Officer of Concord Hospital shows Lorraine Fournier, Senior Resource Person of the Day Surgery Center, how much easier it will be to move the lights in the newly renovated operating rooms as Heather Smith (center), Director of the Day Surgery Center points out other changes; November 14, 2012. The Concord Hospital will be opening a part of their renovated day surgery unit on November 29, 2012.

    (SAMANTHA GORESH / Monitor Staff) Purchase photo reprints at PhotoExtra »

  • Mark Condon of PC Construction shows an iPad app that his company created to show the configuration of pipes and wires behind the wall so that if there is ever a need for new construction the hospital will know where they can safely build; November 14, 2012. The Concord Hospital will be opening a part of their renovated day surgery unit on November 29, 2012.<br/><br/>(SAMANTHA GORESH / Monitor Staff)

    Mark Condon of PC Construction shows an iPad app that his company created to show the configuration of pipes and wires behind the wall so that if there is ever a need for new construction the hospital will know where they can safely build; November 14, 2012. The Concord Hospital will be opening a part of their renovated day surgery unit on November 29, 2012.

    (SAMANTHA GORESH / Monitor Staff) Purchase photo reprints at PhotoExtra »

  • Joseph Conley, Chief Operating Officer of the Concord Hospital tours the newly renovated operating room for day surgeries; November 14, 2012. The Concord Hospital will be opening a part of their renovated day surgery unit on November 29, 2012.<br/><br/>(SAMANTHA GORESH / Monitor Staff)
  • Diane Allan (left), Chief Nursing Officer of Concord Hospital shows Lorraine Fournier, Senior Resource Person of the Day Surgery Center, how much easier it will be to move the lights in the newly renovated operating rooms as Heather Smith (center), Director of the Day Surgery Center points out other changes; November 14, 2012. The Concord Hospital will be opening a part of their renovated day surgery unit on November 29, 2012.<br/><br/>(SAMANTHA GORESH / Monitor Staff)
  • Mark Condon of PC Construction shows an iPad app that his company created to show the configuration of pipes and wires behind the wall so that if there is ever a need for new construction the hospital will know where they can safely build; November 14, 2012. The Concord Hospital will be opening a part of their renovated day surgery unit on November 29, 2012.<br/><br/>(SAMANTHA GORESH / Monitor Staff)

Joe Conley stood in the center of the empty room in Concord Hospital’s newly renovated
outpatient surgery wing and stretched his arms out to his sides, fingertips as far as they’d go, and grinned impishly.

Several years ago, Conley, the chief operating officer at the hospital, recovered there from leg surgery in a room about a quarter of the size of the new recovery room.

“Could I have my surgery over again?” he asked the other hospital officials on a recent tour.

Today, state officials are scheduled to tour the wing, one of the last steps in a $11.6 million project to create 12 private patient rooms, a six-patient unit for immediate post-surgery care, one room specifically for pediatric surgery patients, two new main operating rooms and the reconstruction and expansion of four day surgery operating rooms.

The renovation is one of six recent hospital construction projects in the state directed at out-patient surgeries, according to records with the state’s Certificate of Need Board, which approves hospital construction above a specified financial amount.

Concord Hospital’s day surgery operating rooms are now 40 percent larger; the private prep and recovery rooms are four times as big as patient areas were before, and the six patient areas of the immediate post-surgery recovery area are twice as big as they were before, said Heather Smith, director of the day surgery center.

Hospital staff will move into the new space over the next two weeks with an official project end-date of Nov. 29, she said.

The outpatient surgery center was first designed in 1987 to serve about 10 surgical patients each day. By 2011, between 100 and 125 patients used the facility weekly, up to as many as 5,000 a year, according to Domenic Ciavarro, vice president of facilities.

Accommodating that many patients meant the prep and recovery areas “were like being in a sideways phone booth,” Conley said. While in his stretcher, recovering from his leg surgery, he elbowed a woman in the next bay through the curtain, he said.

Patients could hear their neighbors in the next bay talking with doctors, causing privacy concerns.

The situation lingered as long as it did because “it was not as high on the priority list as the ER was or as converting from semi-private to private rooms for in-patient surgeries,” said hospital CEO Mike Green.

“We would have done it sooner, but there are only so many things we can do at any one point in time.”

Expanding the patient rooms may be the most obvious change of the renovation. The most high-tech are in the operating rooms, from the new twin sets of LED lights and computer screens for laproscopic surgeries guided by cameras, to the rooms’ walls.

On a recent tour of the unit, hospital officials saw for the first time a new iPad application that lets the user see an X-ray of the walls and ceilings of any room.

In one of the new operating rooms, Mark Condon of PC Construction tapped a few buttons, held the devise out, and it showed a panoramic photo of the steel framing behind the wall panels. As he swung it around, the view changed, from the wires behind the light switch to the copper pipes bringing anesthesia to the room.

When the hospital needs to install new equipment or eventually change the layout or design of the day surgery unit again, the digital images will help guide them so away from damaging unseen lines behind the walls, PC Construction’s project supervisor Cliff Hosley said.

Ten years ago, as-builts, as the images are called, were kept on paper in an office somewhere, Hosley said. The construction industry has been digitizing them into specialized computer-assisted design programs, but with the iPad app, “even people who aren’t used to running those programs will be able to tell what’s back there,” he said.

(Sarah Palermo can be reached at 369-3322 or spalermo@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @SPalermoNews.)

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