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Building for Quality
In July 2009, Howard County General Hospital opened and moved into the patient pavilion. As part of the hospital’s continuing effort to meet the health care needs of the community, the pavilion and related renovation project provide expanded and improved space for patient care as well as support services. The four-story, five-level pavilion houses three inpatient units as well as outpatient services and support departments.
Patient safety and improved quality of care are the driving forces behind the design of the new inpatient units. In addition to 90 new private patient rooms, nearly all existing semi-private rooms have been converted to private, adding a total of 42 new inpatient beds. Studies prove that private rooms promote healing and patient safety by decreasing hospital-acquired infections, patient falls, and medication errors. In addition, private rooms reduce noise and allow for improved communication for patients, family members and staff. The overall result is improved medical outcomes.
To prevent patient falls, furniture and equipment is specially arranged and work alcoves are located between every two rooms, allowing nurses to complete records while monitoring patients. Family involvement in the patient’s care is encouraged and sleep sofas are available for family members who want to stay overnight.
The hospital cares for thousands of critically ill patients every year. The entire third floor of the patient pavilion is dedicated to providing a continuum of care for the sickest patients, with the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), Special Care Unit and Cardiac/Telemetry unit. Intensivists – physicians who specialize in caring for critically ill hospitalized patients – are able to conveniently and efficiently follow the care of these patients as they move to the appropriate level of care during their recovery.