LACONIA — LRGHealthcare plans to invest $4.5 million in improvements to the nursing unit at North 4, the section of Lakes Region General Hospital originally constructed in 1969, which will make the facility compatible with the addition joining the hospital and medical office building opened in 2011.
The project will be funded by $3.5 million in donations from the capital campaign launched in 2012 together with $1 million in operating funds.
The infrastructure of the old building, particularly the air handling system which lacks the capacity to meet the increased demands, will be replaced and low flow toilets installed throughout the building.
In keeping with the company's commitment to convert the entire hospital to single rooms, which ensures the privacy of patients and reduces the risk of infection, five beds that were lost when the addition was built will be restored in North 4, where the number of beds was trimmed from 20 to 15. Since a unit of 20 beds offers an optimal nurse-to-patient ratio, it is much more efficient to operate. Each of the rooms will have a private shower and lift system, enhancing their efficiency and safety for both patients and staff. Finally the nursing station in North 4 will be reconfigured and reconstructed to match its counterparts elsewhere in the hospital, enabling personnel to move easily from one station to another throughout the facility.
LRGHealthcare has applied for a certificate of need, required by the state of all major investments in medical facilities, and once it is approved expects to begin work in May and complete the project by February 2015.