The Puget Sound Surgery Center’s recent expansion was an exciting and eventful project for the PSO team to take on. After looking forward to the project’s completion for many months, our patients, staff and physicians are thrilled with the final results.
A plan to expand the Puget Sound Surgery Center came to fruition when the quarters became too tight for comfort. If you take a look at our History page you can see how quickly we have grown in recent years; 9 physicians have joined us since 2016! With more physicians comes more patients, and a need for more people on our medical staff. We have added nurses, medical assistants, PAs, technicians and others to our team to care for the growing number of patients we see daily.
Additionally, more patients have realized the advantages to having their surgeries done in an ambulatory surgery center. When considering costs, cleanliness and high quality outcomes, low risk patients choose surgery centers almost every time. Because of the trend for patients to choose outpatient surgery instead of hospital surgery grew, the already tight quarters became even more cramped.
Inevitably, the surgery center became crowded. It was determined that an expansion to the surgery center was needed to accommodate for the growing number of people who were working and receiving care.
Our surgery center director, Jenni Riportella, worked with contractors to devise a strategic plan for the future of the surgery center. The plan included an expansion of the corridors, operating rooms and PACUs. It also included an update to the center’s medical equipment, and a spruce up to the building’s interior design.
Due to construction taking place during the pandemic, the surgery center renovation project faced a few delays that were beyond anyone’s control. Despite the setbacks, the surgery center’s personnel and contractors were incredible at working together and coordinating to complete the project successfully. Since our medical team is composed of resilient individuals, they were more than willing to take on additional challenges to turn the surgery center expansion plan into a reality.
Surgery Center Director
Jenni Riportella was tasked with managing the surgery center renovation project while overseeing the daily medical affairs at the clinic. During the renovations, the surgery center stayed fully operational through 9 phases of construction. Jenni had to find a balance between the needs of the medical staff and patients, and the requirements of the construction workers and contractors.
Performing operations in a surgery center that was under construction was challenging for Jenni and her team. “Workflow and daily operations had to change often. The medical team had to be flexible and resilient, and deal with construction workers and equipment taking up space in quarters that were already tight,” she said. “At times, old walls were being demolished and new walls were being built as we cared for our patients!”
The team faced many challenges while operating during construction. For example, the location of the storage area had to be changed multiple times. Repetitive shuffling of supplies in the storage area made it hard for the staff to quickly find the medical equipment that they needed. “Since everything was constantly changing, we needed to support each other and be problem solvers. We had to work as a team more than ever,” Jenni explained.
The construction process took months of planning. Everyone involved wanted the new surgery center to have the best surgical equipment on the market, plenty of space to work and an appealing layout and interior design aesthetic. “I toured a handful of surgery center facilities in the area to find inspiration for our surgery center,” explained Jenni. “With the help of the architect, I chose my favorite aspects of the surgery centers I visited and came up with a plan for the PSO Surgery Center.”
The 6 months of construction could be challenging at times, but the medical team had no complaints. They were thrilled to be getting a larger space and were all very supportive of the expansion. The team rolled with the punches, and recognized that good things take time. In December of 2020, the construction was completed right before Christmas. “It was the best Christmas gift we could have asked for.”