In August 2015, Westfields Hospital and Clinic announced plans to reinvest in its facility to address growth in patient volumes and prepare for future needs in the community. This came on the heels of a 2014 announcement and subsequent completion of significant renovations to inpatient rooms, the first to that part of the facility since its original construction in 1978. As the only hospital in New Richmond, Wisconsin, serving a broad region with emergency and inpatient services as well as wide ranging outpatient, surgery, imaging, specialty, and clinic care, the facility had seen significant patient volume growth and the renovation and expansion was much needed not only to meet the current needs of the community but also to prepare for the future.
The management team at Westfields Hospital and Clinic interviewed contractors and chose local firm, Derrick Building Solutions as the General Contractor for the project. Kris Thomas, Project Manager at Westfields, said “We were proud to have a local builder on board to do this work.” She also indicated that the contractor was on board before the design phase and it was a key to the success of the project. “Having an experienced contractor actively participating in the design process provided valuable collaboration opportunities with designers that helped our team create a very successful overall project,” she added.
The total project consisted of over 21,000 SF of interior, exterior renovations and expansions.
- Phase 1 Included the renovation of the existing Imaging Services Department. In addition to this renovation the existing MRI cabinet was removed to make room for a new start of the state-of-the-art MRI addition. Phase 1 started in April 2016.
- Phase 2 included new construction between the primary care and specialty care clinics for expansion of physical rehabilitation, cardiac rehabilitation, and sleep health. Phase 2 began in August 2016.
- Phase 2 also included the expansion and renovations of Pre-& Post-Surgical Services which relocated pre- and post-surgery rooms adjacent to operating rooms.
- Phase 3 included a significant expansion of the Emergency department and began in March of 2017 and was completed in early in 2018. This also included the construction of a fully enclosed Ambulance garage.
In addition to the 3 main project phases, there were multiple sub phases throughout the project.
Project phasing is a common practice, particularly when a business is staying open at a facility while undergoing a construction project. In most of those cases, however, the construction project offers little more than a slight inconvenience to employees and customers while actively taking place. In a hospital and healthcare setting the project staging and safety considerations become a more significant undertaking. Construction and remodeling would be taking place in the very same facility where babies were being born, surgeries performed, important treatments provided, and healing care was taking place around the clock every single day. The team worked together to accommodate all special needs beyond comfort and safety to completing ICRA (Infection Control Risk Assessment) to ensure safety of work crews, patients, and staff, to managing crucial timelines such as MRI unit installation.
Thomas said, “Chad and Kevin Derrick were great partners committed to ensuring that our project came in on time and under budget and they worked well with not only myself, but with the Architecture firm and all of our staff.”
Another indicator of success is the fact that patient satisfaction scores stayed steady or even increased during construction. Since the project’s completion utilization numbers for various departments throughout the complex have increased.
Chad Derrick of Derrick Building Solutions was the Project Manager for all the Westfields Hospital & Clinics projects. “This project was a perfect example of thorough planning and communication delivering a predictable and smooth process for our client, our client’s patients and employees, and our construction team,” he said, when asked about the project. “The schedule is a very complex looking document and had many moving parts,” he added, “significant time went into developing the plan, following it, and revising it on a weekly basis throughout the duration. Everyone on the project realized that this was very specialized due to the sensitivities of those receiving care on our construction site to the delicacy needed for specialized installations such as the new MRI machine. We were building new and remodeling in areas separated only by a wall from active healthcare environments. It was a daily priority to ensure that those in the facility were safe and comfortable despite active construction.
“During this complex multi-faceted project there was no such thing as too much planning or too much communication. The hospital staff worked very closely with the construction team to ensure that every effort was made to keep employees and patients up to date about developments and added temporary services such as volunteer patient escorts and valet parking, to keep patients safe and comfortable during the project It was a true team effort over the course of many individual projects which all added up to an exceptional finished hospital and clinic facility for our hometown of New Richmond.”