Capital Medical Center, west Olympia’s 110-bed hospital, has embarked on a new project: an $18 million undertaking that will result in five new operating rooms, two remodeled ones and an eighth “shelled in” unit that will be opened when patient demand warrants it.
Work began this month and is expected to be completed in about July 2017. The hospital was built 31 years ago and a lot has changed in medicine since then, with surgeries becoming more complex and involving new technologies and more equipment.
The kind of surgeries common at Capital Medical Center include orthopedic — hip, knee and spine procedures — as well as neurological and urological surgeries, Chief Operating Officer Bill Southwick said.
The hospital also wants to improve and make more efficient the operating room workflow for doctors, nurses, staff and patients, he said, as well as enlarge a centralized sterilization area and provide more waiting space and lockers.
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“We’re giving them the gift of more space,” Southwick said.
Laurence Urvina, a hospital nurse who provided input on the expansion, said the hospital operating rooms were built to last for decades, but now it’s time — they are in need of a facelift.
Most important, said Dr. Andrew Manista, chief of staff for the hospital and an orthopedic surgeon, the expansion and renovation “increases our capacity for caring for the community.”
Manista also said the operating room expansion is part of a larger plan to renovate the hospital. Capital Medical Center recently completed work on its women’s services department — increasing birthing suites to 11 from nine — and there’s a plan to update the hospital’s emergency room, he said.
The first phase of the OR expansion is taking place outside — crews were working on a water line on Thursday — but by December or January they expect to be indoors working around the existing operating room space, said Darryl Simurdak, superintendent for the contractor, BNBuilders of Seattle.
At peak construction, he expects to have 30 people on site, he said.
The operating rooms will remain open during construction, so that means erecting temporary walls and using negative air machines to suck and filter the air and direct it outside with duct work, Simurdak said.
“You can’t stop taking care of the needs of patients,” Chief Operating Officer Southwick said.
During construction, the easiest access to the hospital’s emergency room and outpatient registration will be via Yauger Way or Capital Mall Drive, spokeswoman Julie Leydelmeyer said.