The intensive care areas at New Hanover Regional Medical Center's main campus on South 17th Street are in the midst of a $14 million renovation project.
“The intensive care units at NHRMC were developed in the 1970s, and we need to renovate those to match the rest of the ambiance of New Hanover Regional but also integrate technology and innovation to meet the needs of our patients and support families as well,” said Gabby Pike, administrator of adult inpatient services for NHRMC.
For the renovation project, NHRMC is reconfiguring and redesigning existing ICU space, about 21,000 square feet. The hospital has 54 ICU beds, 14 of which were created much later than the others and fit in more with the rest of the hospital, she said.
“We’re going to take 40 of those beds, the ones most in need of the renovation project, and do a complete facelift and realign some of the equipment, some of the support spaces to make sure we can give the best care to our patients,” Pike said.
One of the big changes included in the project, which started in March and will be done in phases so ICU areas can continue to operate, is the integration of the hospital’s family-centered care concept, Pike said.
The idea is to make families “part of the care team instead of outsiders or visitors,” which includes allocating space in patient rooms specifically for family members.
“They’ll also have family lounge areas where, if they need to get a refreshment or they need to take a breather, they can go to a family lounge,” Pike said.
On average, the ICU beds are about 80 percent occupied, she said.
This month, New Hanover County officials have been working toward issuing hospital revenue and revenue refunding bonds, in an amount not to exceed $220 million, to reimburse the cost of recent hospital projects and finance others.
In addition to the ICU renovation, those projects include recently finished construction and renovation at the main campus emergency department; renovations to Zimmer Cancer Center; the future construction of a new orthopedic and spine hospital that will add three floors and 134,000 square feet to the existing surgical pavilion; a parking deck currently under construction; and a pedestrian sky bridge.
The New Hanover County Board of Commissioners agreed April 3 to file an application with the N.C. Local Government Commission for approval to issue the bonds. A public hearing on the bond financing before the Board of Commissioners is scheduled for May 1.