5 unique hospital, health system construction projects


A hospital in Joplin, Mo., opened nearly four years after a tornado tore through the area, while another new hospital is filled every day by 4,000 employees, staff, students and patients — and 25 robots. Another hospital project is getting some help from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, MD.


A number of U.S. hospitals are undergoing capital improvement projects, but the following hospital developments stand out because of their features or circumstances.


Mercy Joplin Hospital (Joplin, Mo.) opened March 22, nearly four years after a tornado ripped through the area, destroying the old St. John's Medical Center in Joplin. The new tornado-resistant building features a chapel and an ER with 34 rooms, six of which are designed for emergency psychiatric patients. Planners reorganized the hospital to place the operating rooms next to the emergency department and physicians' offices near patient rooms, according to a news release. The new hospital also includes private rooms, a pediatric wing and a neonatal intensive care unit. Additionally, the new hospital features plenty of new technology, such as a telestroke program, EHR system, updated medical imaging machine that allows physicians to take 3D images, CT scans, MRI images and PET scans, and a telemedicine center. Patients can also access the hospital's system through a patient portal called MyMercy. Also, an offering called telesepsis monitors patients at risk for bacterial infections that may lead to sepsis. Ten patient beds are also wired with eAcute, a system that links data from patients gathered through sensors and sends it to a single nursing station for monitoring, according to the release.


UCSF Medical Center at MissionBay (San Francisco) is the University of California, San Francisco's newest hospital complex. The $1.5 billion complex, which sits near UCSF's research hub, includes CSF Betty Irene Moore Women's Hospital, UCSF Bakar Cancer Hospital and UC San Francisco Benioff Children's Hospital San Francisco, the city's first standalone children's hospital. The new 183-bed children's hospital features light-shadow installation and rotating art exhibits in the lobby, as well as mural-splashed walls, a teen lounge and multiple outdoor spaces. At all three hospitals, each room comes with a 65-inch flat-screen TV featuring OneView, a software program that allows patients to view the EHR as the care team documents their information. Additionally, the hospital uses robots. The units — called TUGs, developed by Pittsburgh, Pa.-based Aethon and leased to hospitals on a monthly subscription — are designed to be as inconspicuous as possible, shaped a like filing cabinets on wheels. The medical center also features the only operating hospital helicopter pad in San Francisco.


Parkland (Dallas) was dedicated on March 30. The 17-story, 862-bed facility, which is more than 2 million square feet, will replace the current ParklandMemorialHospital that was built in 1954. It features nearly 30 operating rooms, a 120-bed emergency department, four-level atrium, parking for 2,000 vehicles and a central energy plant. Patients will be transitioned to the new Parkland hospital over the course of three days — Aug. 20, 21 and 22. "The decision to transition patients over the course of three days is based entirely on the safety and well-being of our patients and their families," Fred Cerise, MD, Parkland's president and CEO, said in a previous statement. "Our top priority is to ensure the absolute safety of all in our care as we make the move across Harry Hines (Boulevard) into the new Parkland hospital." It is anticipated that more than 30,000 people will come through Parkland each day.


William P. Clements Jr. University Hospital (Dallas) opened its doors on Dec. 6, 2014. The hospital is 12 floors and includes 460 single-patient rooms, 72 adult ICU rooms and 40 emergency rooms. The 1.3 million-square-foot hospital also includes a high-speed laundry chute. As far as digital connectivity, each patient room and surgery bay in the $800 million facility is equipped with a telepresence station, allowing physicians to confer with specialists during surgery, according to NPR. Patients also have access to teleconferencing equipment from all 460 private patient rooms, allowing them to video conference with family and friends. The hospital compiles a list of email addresses of people each patient would like to be included in his or her care upon admission. Additionally, the shape of the building is similar to a 'W,' allowing caregivers to enter in the center of units to walk shorter distances between patient beds, and curtains have been replaced by double-paned glass with a vent that fogs up the panes for privacy upon request, according to the NPR report.


San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center, the city's largest safety-net provider, is expected to open a new acute-care and trauma center in December. The 283-bed inpatient tower is primarily being funded by an $887.4 million bond issue approved by San Francisco voters as well as a $75 million gift from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and wife Priscilla Chan, MD. The new facility, which will be named Priscilla and Mark Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center, will feature 90 percent private patient rooms, 28 more intensive care beds, two additional trauma rooms, three more operating rooms and a new emergency department that will be twice the size of the existing one, according to a news release. The hospital will also gain two palliative care rooms, four pediatric exam rooms and one dedicated pediatric waiting room in the emergency department. Dr. Chan, who is in pediatric residency at the University of California at San Francisco and trained at San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center, said in a previous statement that she has personal knowledge of the hospital's services, and that she and her husband "are proud to support such an important public hospital."


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