SHARON – Private inpatient rooms are the new standard at Sharon Regional Medical Center.
The healthcare provider announced the upgrade Thursday that gives nearly all inpatients their own private room.
This was a natural transition, hospital President Bob Rogalski said, because the surging number of outpatient care patients reduces the need for a huge number of beds.
“More people are being taken care of on an outpatient basis,’’ Rogalski said. “We’re looking at this as something that benefits the patient.’’
Along with privacy, there’s a real medical benefit with single-bed rooms.
“It greatly reduces the chance of a patient catching an infection if they don’t have a roommate,’’ he said.
There’s also an upside for the medical staff.
It’s easier to get more staff and medical equipment into rooms for emergency responses, he said.
In all, the hospital has 85 inpatient single rooms but is licensed for up to 163 beds. If there’s a surge in demand of inpatients, most of the private rooms could be doubled-up if needed.
He wasn’t sure on how many total beds the hospital had before the conversion.
“We wanted to do this a couple of years ago but were stopped by the COVID-19 pandemic,’’ he said.
It took a little remodeling to convert patient rooms on the fifth and sixth floors to single occupancy, he said. But most rooms on the lower floors already were private.
This is a growing hospital trend.
Three years ago, Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore renovated its buildings making 96 percent of patients, aside from those receiving psychiatric care, into single rooms.
And it isn’t just in America.
In December, the British government said it’s committed to all newly constructed hospitals to have only single-occupancy rooms.
The hospital also showcased on Thursday new, advanced dialysis. It allows the wireless transfer of information for monitoring and reporting on patients.
The goal is to allow more time for patients and less time managing equipment, Rogalski said.
Also, the new home for healthcare provider’s Sleep Center inside the hospital was previewed. The center, which treats sleeping disorders, was moved inside the hospital from another nearby building.
“Moving the center inside the hospital gives patients a more home-like environment,’’ Rogalski said. “And it enables our staff to give them better care.’’
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