Slidell Memorial Hospital is a 229-bed acute care hospital located in the heart of Slidell, Louisiana, part of the New Orleans metropolitan area. Opened in 1959, the community-based hospital is all about the patient—a place where leaders have adopted the saying, “Feel better faster,” as they work to get patients into beds, healed and on their way home as quickly and safely as possible.
noraplan environcare™ premium rubber flooring from nora systems, Inc. covers much of the three-story facility, offering durability and slip resistance. According to Anita Becker, director of critical care services, it also supports a quiet, healing environment. “Quiet is something we take very seriously, because there’s a lot of literature that supports the fact that quiet time is paramount for patient recovery…Something that contributes to that and helps would be our flooring system. You don’t hear the footsteps. You don’t hear the cart going down the hallway…Because all of that is absorbed through the floor.”
Just as significant, the floor contributes to that all-important first impression visitors and patients have as they enter the hospital. “It might not matter what type of care you provide,” says Anita Becker, director of critical care services. “If the environment is not right when they walk in the door, then you’ve already done a disservice to your families.” Easy-to-maintain nora flooring consistently looks good and regularly supports the hospital’s commitment to compassionate care and a patient-centered culture. Adds Singley, “Installing nora is just all around the right thing to do to heal the patient.”
According to Jeffrey Singley, director, with responsibility for environmental services, nora is an integral part of the hospital’s master facility plan to keep the building up-to-date and improve its efficiency based, in part, on the successful installation of nora flooring in the hospital’s intensive care unit (ICU) more than 10 years ago. “Today,” says Singley, “the floor is proven, it’s working…and there are no issues. It’s seamless.”
One of the most important features Singley points to is the floor’s simple cleaning regimen, which eliminates the need for strippers and the application of finishes and sealants. “Floor finishes, stripping and waxing—it’s all a thing of the past. There’s just no need for it anymore, not when you have this product.” Singley adds, ”The cost savings in floor finish, floor stripper alone, and having to do it twice a year, has probably saved our department budgets about 18 percent annually. From a productivity standpoint, you're able to increase man hours for our floor techs and have them cover more areas…It has dramatically brought cost savings into our organization, to where it's been reflected in our operating budgets.”
The floor also ensures improved productivity, freeing Singley and his staff to address other areas. “It allows me to focus on bigger things and conquer other tasks,” he says, advising others in his shoes to, “Look at products like nora that are going to make your job easier and allow you to work smarter, not harder…Our efficiency gives a whole new meaning to “Feel better faster.”
This simple cleaning regimen benefits patients, too, as Anita Becker, director of critical care services, explains. “Our patients are very sensitive in the ICU to smells and to sounds. So, the fact that we don’t have to use heavy equipment to clean our floors or heavy chemicals to clean and strip them is a wonderful addition to the system…We also see a tremendous gain in our room turnover.”
Becker’s praise for the floor does not stop there. “One of the things that makes our flooring so wonderful is that we have flash coving that extends from the floor up the wall. There are no corners or crevices for dirt and grime to get into.”
She also appreciates the floor’s ability to help protect against slips and falls, the result of a cleaning regimen that eliminates the need for finish products and the floor covering’s slip resistance feature. “Slip resistance is important in the hospital, because, oftentimes, we are moving at a pace that requires us to move more quickly and respond promptly to our patients, without any hesitation due to a fear of falls, trips or slip hazards.”
In addition to reducing the incidence of slips and falls, premium rubber flooring significantly reduces glare coming from its surface, again attributable to the absence of finishes. Explains Becker, “As far as glare, in an environment like the ICU, where there are so many different stimulants coming from so many different sources, glare is something the flooring takes away.”
Staff also appreciate the benefits rubber flooring delivers, particularly at the end of a long shift. “My caregivers are impacted by the flooring every day, every hour, every minute of every 12-hour shift they work. They walk miles and miles in the course of a single day, so having a flooring system that supports them and provides comfort makes all the difference at the end of a 12-hour day, or a 25-year career,” says Becker.
Durability, too, is important, especially in the new service corridor, which sees forklift traffic, linen carts, infectious waste carts, wheelchairs and a considerable amount of foot traffic. It’s no wonder Singley describes the corridor as “one of the toughest areas to maintain and keep presentable.” But he is quick to add, “I can clearly say that it is one of the easiest corridors to take care of because of nora. It is easy to clean, it is aesthetically pleasing and it is not breaking down.”