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Lights Improve Comfort At MTMC

San Andreas, CA — Mark Twain Medical Center (MTMC) has implemented upgrades to enhance not only a patient’s stay but the staffs work area and saved money at the same time.

The center recently added LED lighting upgrades in its surgery suites with a $300,000-plus cost savings to the completed project. Certified Surgical Services Management Director Lynn Bartel, RN, BSN explains, “An operating room usually seems very cool to patients because it must be no more than 68 degrees to keep things sterile. But once the overhead lights go on, surgeons are working in 80 to 90 degrees at the site of the surgery due to the heat from the bright lights. That can quickly increase to 100-plus degrees depending upon what surgery-specific garments are required.”

LED bulbs create and maintain a consistent temperature, according to MTMC Director of Facilities/Support Services and Development Edward Gonzales. He found a way to circumvent the nearly $337,000 price tag by only replacing part of the lighting system for about $37,000. Gonzales notes, “Looking at it as a retrofit rather than new construction, that greatly reduced the cost of the overall project. The simplified project uses existing ceiling booms to support new arms holding the energy-efficient LED light array. We have the added bonus of up to 70 percent in energy savings.” The MTMC project was completed November 4th.

Additionally, Bartel has also put into practice a patient “Nutritional Prep Kit,” which is a high carbohydrate drink designed to help patients recover faster and a medicated soap to be used before surgery. Dignity Health has made the kit a standard procedure at all facilities due to its success at MTMC.