Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital will start $49 million modernization next month

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Sentara Virginia Beach General hospital will start renovations next month as part of a $49 million modernization project. (Courtesy of Sentara)
Sentara Virginia Beach General hospital will start renovations next month as part of a $49 million modernization project. (Courtesy of Sentara)

Starting in February, the Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital will start a 30-month long renovation project to modernize the 52-year-old facility. With a budget of $49 million, the hospital will update its infrastructure, patient care and staff areas.

The first series of construction will focus on the hospital’s intensive care unit, according to president Bernie Boone. The existing three intensive care units will be consolidated down into a 24-bed, state of the art ICU. This segment of the project will see completion by the fall of 2018.

Once completed, the hospital will renovate its operating rooms. The hospital will keep 11 rooms, but each room will see an increase in size, updated technologies and a standardization of how each room is arranged.

“There’s a drive towards consistency, which leads to overall quality,” spokesperson Dale Gauding said. “The more familiar the staff are with their environment, the better the quality of treatment will be.”

Once the operating rooms are completed, the next phase will be renovating the hospital’s post-anesthesia care unit, Boone said. The unit will expand to 18 beds and enable staff to better serve patients before they are either discharged or moved to another wing.

Along with the overhaul of the various hospital units, two patient elevators will also be constructed to take patients directly to operating rooms from the intensive care unit. New surgical support areas, lounges and staff locker rooms will also be added to the hospital’s floor plan.

An overhaul of the facility’s infrastructure will address systems like heating, cooling, electrical and the hospital’s generators.

“Our facility opened in 1965, so our central utility plant – all systems are commingled,” Boone said. “With this addition, if one system goes down it will not cause problems with another.”

In the summer of 2015, the hospital invested in what is called a daVinci surgical robot. The robot costs about $2.7 million, but Boone said the robot’s minimally-invasive surgery approach cuts down on patient recovery time and the possibility of post-surgery infections.

“We provide a tertiary level of care here,” Boone said. “We have worked across the system and our system facilities to enhance available services.”

Overall, the investments and modernization of Sentara Virginia Beach General will allow the hospital to provide optimized services to patients and further develop standards for staff.

“We are not necessarily increasing the capacity of our hospital, but have the flexibility to accommodate different needs,” Boone said.

Renovation for the project is scheduled to wrap in the summer of 2019.

Poulter can be reached at amy@localvoicemedia.com