Hospital to Remodel Rehab Services Area

December 30, 2011

Revamped Riverside Medical Center Department Will Offer Improved Design

Riverside Medical Center’s Rehab Services Department will undergo a nearly half-million dollar makeover in 2012, offering enhanced function and design for an improved patient experience. The remodeling project, which will begin in spring, will feature a large open gym, private evaluation rooms, and a new spacious reception area and waiting lounge.

“We’ve been looking forward to this for some time,” said Bruce Pierson, RMC’s rehab services manager. “The project is designed to improve service to our patients, improve our work flow and add additional square footage.”

The $495,000 project was approved recently by the ThedaCare Capital Request Team and Riverside Medical Center Board of Directors. The Rehab Services Department will remain in the lower level of RMC’s 902 building and will gain an additional 700 square feet, bringing the space to more than 5,000 square feet. The project is expected to be completed by fall 2012.

“We started this process over a year ago with a 13-member team, including two former patients, who took a week to work through the ThedaCare Improvement System process to look at our needs and possibilities,” added Pierson. “We will be able to have more physical therapists work in our area to provide more access for our patients and doctors.”

RMC currently employs eight physical therapists and three physical therapist assistants who provide a variety of physical therapy and rehabilitative services. In additional to speech, occupational and sports rehab therapy, the department’s therapists offer other specialties, including spine therapy, hand therapy, orthopedic post-op rehab, and therapy for lymphedema patients and vertigo patients. The hospital’s Rehab Services Department also serves patients at its off-campus Physical Therapy Clinic at N2610 State Road 22 in Waupaca.

The expanded layout is designed to make the best use of the space and features a large open-concept gym and seven private treatment rooms that are 50 percent larger than the size of the current treatment areas. “There will be walls instead of curtains to give patients more privacy during their evaluations,” Pierson said. “The rooms will be larger so it will be easier to get equipment in and out of the rooms without having to move things around.”

The new design allows for greater efficiency, so the therapists can spend more time with their patients. “We’ve standardized how we stock supplies, for example, so you’re not running around looking for this and that,” he said. “We will have more space so we won’t be wasting time moving things out of the way and rearranging equipment.”

Riverside Medical Center is a 25-bed acute-care, critical access hospital located in Waupaca. Riverside Medical Center has previously been rated among the “100 Top Hospitals™” in the United States by Solucient, Inc. Riverside Medical Center was founded in 1955 and employs more than 300 people, making it one of the five largest employers in the area.

ThedaCare™ is a community health system consisting of five hospitals: Appleton Medical Center, Theda Clark Medical Center, New London Family Medical Center, Shawano Medical Center, and Riverside Medical Center in Waupaca. ThedaCare also includes ThedaCare Physicians, ThedaCare Behavioral Health, and ThedaCare at Home. ThedaCare is the largest employer in Northeast Wisconsin with more than 6,175 employees. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!

For more information, media may contact Megan Wilcox (megan.wilcox@thedacare.org), APR, corporate and public relations specialist for ThedaCare, at (920) 830-5847.