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Upgrading 24-7 healthcare environments

Healthcare environments are always on.  From hospital ERs to long term care homes, the needs of the vulnerable exist 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – so when it comes to upgrades or refurbishment of those facilities, it can be really challenging.

The demands of round-the-clock care mean it can be almost impossible to find a time that’s convenient to carry out even essential repairs, never mind facility upgrades – but ironically, the same demands mean that hospitals and care homes often need to be refurbished more than other public buildings.

The solution, at least for small-scale work, is to carry out ‘live’ upgrades – allowing work to commence while the ward or facility is operational.

Understandably, facility managers and healthcare professionals worry about the disruption this might cause – often so much that they put off carrying out any work until it’s long overdue.

But if you’re holding back on essential upgrades due to worries about disruption – don’t.

At Belroc, we’re highly experienced in live refurbishments and we know that it’s possible to carry out essential tasks – such as handrail upgrades, curtain track installation, and the fitting of wall and door protection – while the delivery of high-quality healthcare continues uninterrupted.

We use our unique 3DX methodology to minimise disruption on every site, but this is even more crucial in working environments.  This process begins by clearly defining the scope of work to ensure we have a clear picture of what needs to be done, and within what time frame.  As part of this scoping process, we’ll collaborate closely with facility managers to understand the demands on that facility or department, and develop a realistic program that gets the work done in the least amount of time while also allowing for essential pauses to facilitate patient dignity and any other sensitive healthcare tasks.

We then develop the most appropriate solutions in our direct phase – identifying products that will dovetail effortlessly with existing infrastructure, minimizing the amount of upheaval required to install them and maximising the lifespan of those products, so your facility gets many years of quality performance before a subsequent upgrade is required.

Finally, we move to deliver.  A key part of the deliver phase in a live project is making sure all materials are on site and ready to go, eliminating the potential for hold-ups that are simply unacceptable in functioning healthcare settings.  Depending on the location and scale of the project, we may deploy our Project Pods for this purpose, delivering all materials to site in a shipping container which also acts as a storage facility for materials and waste throughout the duration of the works.

The final piece of the puzzle is the professionalism and integrity of our installation team, headed up by senior installer, Brandon McCamley.  Brandon explains:  “Conducting a live install successfully is all about being sensitive to your surroundings, the professionals who work there and the individuals in their care.  Our team simply does whatever it takes to make sure the work is completed promptly and effectively while always putting the wellbeing of facility staff and patients first.  It’s not uncommon for me to relocate a piece of equipment many times in order to make sure it stays in easy reach of healthcare workers, while also working around it, or for me to take a short break or move my lunch break around to accommodate staff needing to change or feed a patient.

“Safety is also a big priority and on live installs what we generally do is create a zoned-off area, as small as it can practically be, so that we can complete the work in small sections – cleaning up as we go and moving along a hallway or around a room in stages.  We have it down to a fine art now and in fact, it can be a really enjoyable way to work.  I’m always happy to answer questions staff or patients may have about what I’m doing, or why we do things a certain way, while continuing to work and making sure the project remains on schedule.

“It’s just about being flexible and responsive to the situation that’s happening at any given moment.  We’ve done entire facilities using this incremental method, and I think those clients would agree it was much less stressful and disruptive than they had initially feared.  We’ve also had to get special security clearances for federal projects in the past, and obviously that requires discretion and trustworthiness on our part.  We take great pride in everything we do and it’s very satisfying to be able to hand a facility back fresher, safer and more hygienic than we found it!”

To talk about your facility upgrade requirements and discuss how Belroc can ensure minimal disruption on your project, get in touch.