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Hospital Moves Patients Into Redone Wards



Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital staff transferred 102 patients Sunday morning into its three newly-renovated patient pavilions.

Over 400 of the infirmary’s 2,500 employees moved the patients from non-critical, intensive or maternity care facilities into their new rooms and wards from 7 a.m. to 12 p.m. The facility — which began preliminary planning for the move over a year ago — is undergoing an estimated $700 million renovation to comply with legislation requiring all California hospitals be able to withstand a major earthquake.

Cottage Hospital’s director of transition planning Nathan Sigler said medical staff assessed each patient’s stability and clinical needs about a week prior to the transfer.

“The most challenging group would be the most infirmed patients from some of the intensive care units because some of them are on mechanical ventilators, so they require large teams and a lot of equipment to move,” Sigler said. “We take extra care with them and space them out during the move.”

According to Sigler, the hospital treats approximately 230 patients on a daily basis. Sigler said staff planned for the move using conservative estimates of what the actual head count would be for the day of the transition.

“We planned for up to 152 patients, determining that would be the maximum that we might have,” Sigler said. “We planned the structure of the move and communication process around that conservative estimate.”

Employees staggered intensive care patients with more stable patients during the move, allowing additional staff to provide specialized attention for individuals. The hospital also relocated patients in maternity services alongside their newborn babies.

Sigler said the hospital will begin surveying and interviewing employees that participated in the move to improve the process once the second half of renovations are complete in 2017.

“We definitely have some additional transitions coming up, not only here but at Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital, which is being rebuilt,” Sigler said. “In light of the successful move, we will try to implement some of the same processes and protocols in planning the next big move.”

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