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Hutchinson Regional Medical Center groundbreaking scheduled for Jan. 5
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Artist drawing of new ICU at Hutchinson Regional Medical Center

A $23 million construction project for a new and advanced Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at Hutchinson Regional Medical Center (HRMC), will be coupled with an upgrade in core mechanical and electrical infrastructure within the hospital complex. Community leaders will participate in a groundbreaking ceremony scheduled for 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 5.
John Deardoff, Hutchinson City Manager and a member of the Hutchinson Regional Medical Center Foundation Board of Directors, said the HRMC upgrades rank as one of the top ten construction projects in the city’s history.
Two Phase Project Planned
Wes Hoyt, Chief Operating Officer for Hutchinson Regional Healthcare System (HRHS), said the total project will be completed in two phases.
Hoyt said Phase I will include a modernization of the hospital’s electrical and mechanical infrastructure grid, with a completion date slated for on or before July 1.
“Electrical feeds are slated for replacement throughout the hospital as we increase the system’s redundancy of the prime power provided by Westar,” Hoyt said. “With the technological advancements made since HRMC opened its doors, there are a lot more things to plug in.”
Hoyt said the $5 million upgrade is the most extensive and significant enhancement in electrical and mechanical facilities undertaken during the 40 plus year history of HRMC.
Phase II, an $18 million construction of a single story, 15,000 square feet ICU located on the west edge of the HRMC campus adjoining the hospital’s Emergency Department, gets underway June 1 with a completion date slated for Dec. 1, 2018. The ICU is utilized an average of 3,000 patient days per year to treat seriously ill patients.
The 18-bed facility will include larger rooms than the original ICU, providing a more user-friendly atmosphere, allowing family members to be with their loved ones during what may be the most critical time in the patient’s life.
New ICU Optimizes Patient Care
The final design for the ICU was the culmination of efforts by the HRMC Leadership Team along with a committee of nurses and staff members who developed a blueprint for a unit that met the needs of patients and families.
Julie Ward, RN, MSN, CENP, FACHE, Vice President of Patient Care Services at HRMC, said the committee sought evidence based practices to guide design decisions for the new ICU.
“Staff nurse input was sought on everything from the conceptual framework for the new unit down to room layout and design, equipment purchases and color schemes,” Ward said. “Patients and families were at the center of every decision as we sought to involve loved ones in the healing process and provide a space for patients and families to rest.”
“Our goal is to maximize the time that nurses spend with patients; so we studied fine details such as minimizing steps for the nurse,” Ward continued. “Communication is essential and we focused on areas to maximize dialogue with patients, providers, nurses and other important colleagues.”
JoAnn Rivera, RN, CCRN, served as a member of the committee and said she hopes the process sets a precedent for future projects undertaken by HRHS.
“As an organization we are very fortunate to have a leadership team and an architecture firm (HFG) that recognized the importance and value that nursing could bring to the new ICU design,” Rivera said. “Being involved allowed nursing to bring a very patient and family centered focus to the design while also including a functional space for not only nursing but all staff working within the department.”
Hoyt said the construction will incorporate noise reduction technology throughout the unit and provide improved visibility by staff, as well as provisions to install state of the art technology available to treat intensive care patients.
Minimal Disruption Planned
The ICU was temporarily relocated to the fourth floor of HRMC in 2014 as a part of a major upgrade to the hospital’s Emergency Department. Upon completion of the construction project all services and care provided by the ICU will be permanently relocated to the new unit located adjacent to the Emergency Department.
“All services provided by the ICU will continue at full capacity during the construction process and signage will alert visitors to changes in parking and any other issues,” Hoyt said.
No changes in traffic patterns are anticipated for patients, families and emergency vehicles entering the HRMC campus while construction is underway. Additional parking will be added around the campus during the construction to include the area west of the new ICU and adjoining Waldron Street.
Hoyt said the project will be financed, in part, through $37 million in revenue bonds, which will cover both the ICU construction and mechanical upgrades, along with other improvements programmed for the hospital including purchase of a CT Scanner and transition to new electronic health record technology. The Hutchinson Regional Medical Foundation has contributed $4 million to the project.
Local Subcontractors Chosen
Nabholz Construction, a mid-western company that specializes in major construction, served as construction manager for the hospital’s emergency department expansion in 2014 and is the winning bidder for the ICU project. Area subcontractors will be utilized whenever possible.
Kruse Corporation, a Wichita-based firm with a major office in Hutchinson has been retained to supervise the mechanical upgrades and Heineken Electric, a central-Kansas firm headquartered in Beloit, will oversee electrical upgrades.
Health Facilities Group (HFG), a Wichita-based architectural firm has developed plans for the project while Professional Engineering Consultants (PEC), a Wichita company, drew blueprints for the mechanical upgrades.
Updates on the construction progress as well as any changes in patient access, will be released to the news media and general public monthly or on an as-needed basis and will also be available on the Hutchinson Regional Healthcare System website at
Ken Johnson, President and CEO of Hutchinson Regional Healthcare System, said the ICU construction and mechanical upgrades will serve the healthcare needs of the hospital for the foreseeable future.
“The technological upgrades will provide an opportunity to further enhance the patients’ experience with HRMC and provide the means to deliver more efficient care to the patients we serve,” Johnson said. “The multi-faceted project is undertaken in a time when the healthcare industry is being challenged as we plan for a future that includes an aging population throughout our service area.”
“Our continued existence is based in part on proactive changes as we prepare for a future that is uncertain,” Johnson continued. “Throughout our history, HRMC has taken its responsibility seriously and these improvements are a major step forward to continue that tradition.”