Kadlec Birth Center rooms to receive $2 million in improvements

New colors, sofa sleepers, lights, bathrooms included in work

The rooms used to welcome babies into the world at Kadlec Regional Medical Center in Richland will be remodeled and updated as part of a more than $2 million project.

With nearly 2,800 babies born at the Richland hospital last year and a room remodel completed 23 years ago, it’s time, said Melanie O’Brien, Birth Center manager.

Each of the 18 labor and delivery rooms will receive a facelift that includes updated finish materials and color schemes, new sleeper sofas, improved procedural lighting, updated bathrooms and new radiant warmers used for resuscitation and thermoregulation of the infant.

The Birth Center’s four antepartum rooms, where pregnant patients required to be on bed rest may stay longer, also will see improvements.

The rooms were last remodeled in 1994.

The design challenge was working within each room’s available space, O’Brien said.

The rooms won’t be bigger but they’ll be “getting a nice facelift,” she said.

Nursing staff will benefit from new nurse server carts in each room. Supplies for IVs, Foley catheters, gauze, tape and other items will be stored in the new wheeled carts. The carts also will have a locked drawer to store patient medication. These items are currently kept in fixed cabinet drawers and are difficult to get into, O’Brien said.

Nurses will be able to pull out the new carts from underneath a counter and move them to a convenient area, O’Brien said.

“We are looking at comfort and safety for patients and visitors, and ergonomics for nursing staff and doctors,” O’Brien said.

The rooms also will look more modern.

More modern gray tones and a robin’s egg blue accent color will replace the Birth Center’s outdated peach and green color scheme, O’Brien said.

“We’re going away from green and orange colors to more modern popular colors,” she said.

A significant portion of the remodel includes updating all the ceiling lights used when new moms deliver their babies. This includes replacing the controls on the walls and the lights themselves. 

O’Brien said Birth Center staff were directly involved in providing input to design and plan the room improvements. The Birth Center has 120 staff and 20 physicians.

“We’re super thankful for this project and I know that our patients will really appreciate it as well,” she said.

Remodeling begins Aug. 14 on the first room, Suite 3. 

When it’s finished, the staff will use it for a couple of weeks to determine how the improvements are functioning before proceeding with the rest of the project.

“If there are no issues, we’ll take two to three rooms out of service at a time,” O’Brien said.

Each group of rooms will take between four to five weeks to complete.

“We’re hoping to be done probably by spring or early summer next year,” O’Brien said. 

Bouten Construction of Richland is the general contractor and KDF Architecture of Yakima is the architect for the remodel work.

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