A concierge meets you at the door, there’s fully adjustable beds with crisp, white sheets and fabulous water or city views.
No, you haven’t checked into the region’s latest five-star hotel or luxury day spa – you’ve arrived for your operation at Wollongong Private Hospital’s new Ramsay Surgical Centre.
Around $7.5 million has been spent on fitting out and equipping the state-of-the-art day surgery, with staff to welcome the first 40 or so patients on Monday.
Hospital CEO David Crowe said the centre had been set up to meet growing demand and, along with the existing day surgery, would cater for 2000 patients each year.
“We really wanted to differentiate the care we provide to patients in the Illawarra,” he said.
“While we have provided excellent care to patients in our current day surgery over the last three years, we’re now taking it to the next level in terms of customer service and patient experience.
“That includes a concierge to meet and greet patients and direct them and their families through their journey.
“It also includes a layout and design that provides a hotel-like experience – we want patients to feel comfortable not just with the nursing care but with the surrounds.”
But while the focus is on comfort, it’s also on efficiency, with a ‘race course’ design which allows patients to be steered in a circular direction from waiting areas to surgery to recovery.
“We don’t want patients waiting or lying around, we want to reduce their anxiety about surgery and get them on the road to recovery as soon as possible,” Mr Crowe said.
“To that end there’s plans to digitise the day surgery to make the process even easier for patients, staff and doctors.
“The new online platform will have an inbuilt care plan to assist with key steps in the hospital journey - from the moment there is a request to admit a patient until they’re ready to be discharged.”
The new centre will initially have a focus on ophthalmology, gastroenterology, urology and hand surgery, with all other surgeries still undertaken in the existing day surgery.
There’s three theatres in the new centre, but room to grow – and cater for other surgical specialities – with two theatre ‘shells’ ready and waiting.
Meantime a dedicated cardiac catheter laboratory is set up and ready to go.
“Since we opened three years ago the hospital has grown exponentially and reached capacity far sooner than we thought,” Mr Crowe said.
“It’s really acted like a magnet to the region, bringing more specialists here. So we will continue to expand our capacity, and services, to meet the high demand.”