Trane Helps Hospital Where Change Was Needed But Care Couldn’t Be Sacrificed
Wythe County Hospital (WCCH) had a predicament. Built in 1972, the facility needed to upgrade the HVAC systems in their
operating suites to maintain strict JCAHO (Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations) standards for temperature,
humidity and airflow. But as the only hospital serving 36,000 people in two counties, they couldn’t close down for renovation, or even
let the installation interfere with a busy surgical calendar or vital day-to-day hospital operations.
WCCH trusted Trane’s Roanoke district office to tackle this problem. Trane recommended placing a TRANE Climate Changer™ air
handler in a new 15’ x 44’ equipment room in the back of the hospital so day-to-day functions wouldn’t be affected by the renovation. An
added attraction of the new equipment room was that it allowed Trane to move the old cooling tower which was placed too close to the
hospital’s fresh air intakes. Temporary cooling was employed as operating suites and the central sterile unit were equipped with Trane
air-handling units. And for precision climate control, the WWCH’s TRANE Tracer Summit™ automation system was updated with new DDC controls
for full automation with updated graphics.
In the end, the expertise Trane brought to the project was as vital as any piece of equipment. Acting as project manager,
Trane offered air balancing and start-up services that insured the hospital met JCAHO specifications throughout the entire update. Trane
also worked closely with WCCH’s nurses to ensure patients were not adversely affected during construction. When the work was finished, the
hospital’s new zone control technology provided optimum temperature, humidity and pressurization for the operating suites, the central
sterile unit, and the infectious disease wards. It also gave hospital staff the ability to easily monitor and adjust conditions. These
changes have not gone unnoticed. Dub Ford, WCCH’s Facilities Director, offered this summation of the project, "I’ve worked here many
years—the Tracer Summit Building Automation System is the best thing we’ve ever purchased for this hospital."
WCCH is a 104 bed facility fully accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare
Organizations. In operation since 1972, WCCH is the only hospital in Wythe County and provides care to
a primary service area of about 36,000 persons in Wythe and Bland counties. WCCH employs over 350
full time personnel and is staffed by over 80 physicians and consulting/courtesy physicians. The hospital
operates under the guidance of a seven-member board of directors. WCCH provides comprehensive inand
out-patient acute care, same day surgery, 24-hour emergency care, radiology services (MRI, CT,
nuclear medicine, ultrasound, general radiology) and many other specialties and services.