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YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — Expectant mothers at Yokota are experiencing a more comfortable and modern environment at the hospital here.

Three new Labor, Delivery, Recovery and Postpartum rooms opened in December, marking the completion of the first phase of a multi-year, multi-million-dollar modernization project at Yokota’s hospital, officials said.

“The whole concept was to have it not feel like a hospital room and to feel more like a home,” said Maj. Megela Campbell, Element Chief of Family Care.

She explained that the LDRP rooms are designed to be “one stop shops” in which a mother can deliver her baby and recover without having to move rooms.

Built into the rooms’ armoire-style furniture are baby-monitoring and neonatal emergency equipment. The rooms also have their own supply closet which means hospital staff members don’t have to keep leaving the room during the delivery.

“There’s even a roll-out sofa bed for dad,” she said.

The new rooms are a huge improvement from the previous delivery rooms, said Capt. Jacqueline Fernendez, an OB/Gyn physician, adding that some of the benefits of the new rooms for her are having more space to work in and better organization of equipment and supplies.

However, the biggest advantage she said is improved patient satisfaction.

“Whenever our patients are happier, we’re happier,” she said.

The overall modernization of the hospital is divided into four phases and scheduled to be completed in 2010, according to Tech Sgt. William Bussie, the 374th Medical Group facility manager.

The hospital is now updating its heating and air conditioning systems to improve both patient comfort and energy efficiency, Bussie said in an e-mail to Stars and Stripes.

The third floor of the hospital is the next phase in the renovation, Bussie said.

Outpatient specialty clinics will be realigned into one area and the overall aesthetics of the floor will be improved.

Later projects include creating a new section of executive suites for unit commanders and executive staff on the fourth floor, realigning the first floor outpatient care services and upgrading the entire hospital’s electrical infrastructure.

“[We will] modernize completely throughout the entire facility,” Bussie said. “A brand new look without a new building.”

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