JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas -- The renovation of a 20-year-old inpatient ward is getting stellar reviews from both patients and staff at San Antonio Military Medical Center.

"The modernized facelift has made a dramatic visual impact on the ward and reflects the high quality care the nursing staff provides to our patients every day," said Tech. Sgt. Steven Conrad, Air Force noncommissioned officer in charge, surgical orthopedics.

The recently completed makeover of 4 West involved the removal of excess signage, repair and repainting of walls, and the installation of an 84-inch digital screen across from the nurses' station. The state-of-the-art screen displays everything from safety tips and new services to process improvement project results.

"As a hospital on a high reliability organization journey, we strive for transparency, for open communication about successes and challenges," said Lt. Col. Nancy Johnson, 4W clinical nurse officer in charge. "This sharing of information, such as patient safety metrics and prevention techniques, builds interest and involvement from our patients and visitors along with trust and empowerment of our staff.

"We've received nothing but positive feedback on our unit's beautification project so far," she added.

The renovation is a demonstration of leadership's commitment to safe, quality care, noted Kevin Nikodym, facility manager.

"The 4W renovation supports our goal of providing a clean, professional, world-class facility," he said. "Family members can feel confident that their loved ones are being treated in a premier hospital while staff will enjoy working in a place they can be proud of."

The ward renovation also marks another step in Brooke Army Medical Center's high reliability journey, noted BAMC Commander Col. Evan Renz. This journey is a commitment to continuous improvement and compliance with a goal of zero preventable harm.

"Efforts such as this one exemplify our ongoing commitment to achieve high reliability and a safe work environment," the colonel said. "We continually strive to improve on our patients' experience on each encounter."

With the 4W project wrapped up, leaders now are setting their sights on other inpatient wards throughout SAMMC's bed tower, which marks its 20th year of patient care in April. The aim is to have the older wards more closely echo the newer, more modern units in SAMMC's consolidated tower, which opened in 2011.

"I would like to see the standard set on 4W matched on all our patient wards," Nikodym said. "Every ward deserves the same high standard."