New hospital half-way done
October 10, 2008
The Park City Medical Center (the new hospital at Quinn’s Junction) is a little past half-way in its construction, and with about 130 workers on site each day, is complete enough to engender visions of the finished product.
Over the last six or seven years, there’s been a change in the design of hospitals to focus more on patient convenience, said Jess Gomez, Intermountain Health Care spokesman.
In the past, hospitals were designed to grant maximum convenience to the caregivers, They are now designed to be functional and accessible for the patients at their core, with the needs of the caregivers built around that.
The Park City hospital exemplifies that new strategy from its aesthetic design to the building layout, Gomez explained.
Begun in April 2007, the center is expected to be complete mid-2009, probably August, said Rob Allen, the CEO and administrator of the center.
With the shell of the building up and drywall everywhere, it’s now possible to picture what will be where in the facility.
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Orthopedics and Physical Therapy
The northeast corner of the building will be split between orthopedics and physical therapy. This has many advantages, Allen explained. First, with the prevalence of outdoor recreation in Summit County, there’s a great need for that type of care. Second, it allows the orthopedic surgeons to have hospital offices and still be close to where they see their patients.
Third, explained Gomez, most patients who need to orthopedic treatment also need physical therapy. With this design, they can go to one place and take care of both needs.
The adjacent surgical center has private entrances. In patient surveys, it was found that people wanted quicker access and more privacy for same-day surgery.
The Emergency Room is in the back of the building so ambulances and cars making quick drop-offs don’t get mixed up in regular hospital traffic.
The waiting room for the ER is small, but that’s because they don’t plan on making people wait, Allen said.
There are 14 bays or treatment rooms available for the ER, but Allen said he’s not sure how many they’ll need. Projections of the number of patients anticipated yearly range widely from 8,000 to 18,000.
To solve that problem, most of the rooms will be outfitted to be storage space that can quickly be emptied if more rooms are needed.
Room for expansion
There are actually several spaces designed with expansion in mind. The top floor of the hospital will be offices and meeting space, but plumbing is being installed for an additional 22 to 26 patient rooms on that floor if needed in the future.
The hospital campus is designed to allow expansion of the building in nearly every direction if needed in future years. The plans are for a 150,000 square-foot facility, but it can be as large as 375,000 someday.
Inside the hospital, two sets of hallways are being built to allow greater privacy to patients. No one in a hospital gown has to be seen by a delivery man.
Like most rooms in the hospital, the obstetric rooms have spectacular views eastward. Six hundred babies are delivered for county residents yearly, and Allen said they’re expecting to get about 350 of those. That number is small enough that women should be able to stay in the same room post-partum. Three of the four rooms have tubs if expectant mothers wish to soak.
To allow families to stay connected to the patient during surgery, cameras are available if requested that allow loved ones to follow the surgery from another room.
The cafeteria is not a cafeteria. It’s a restaurant/grill that patients can order from over the telephone in their rooms. No identical trays are dropped off at scheduled times. The patient can eat what they want when they want.
Continuity with the community
Aesthetically, the building is designed to blend in with the community’s décor with lots of wood and stone, but several interior features are also eco-friendly.
The stone is all from Brown’s Canyon. It’s more expensive than some other options, but the proximity and natural material minimize environmental damage, Allen said. Linoleum is used in flooring, which is again more expensive than sheet vinyl, but more green.
Good for the hospital and the environment, the records are all digital. No paper records will be kept, and there’s nowhere to store them, he said.
Opening a community hospital in rural Summit County next to Park City brings an interesting mix of opportunities and challenges.
Allen said meetings are held regularly to make sure the hospital will fit in well with the existing medical community and make sure it complements what’s here and meets needs. The ER must be a place that local physicians are comfortable sending patents, he said.
Staffing specialists and surgeons for small community hospitals in rural counties can be a challenge sometimes, Allen said.
But because of all the specialists who live in Park City, he actually is facing the opposite. Having too many surgeons wanting to be on board can destabilize a program if there’s not enough work for all of them.
"It’s a fun challenge," he said.
Mark Wankier, administrator for the Rosenberg, Cooley, Metcalf clinic for orthopedics, said he’s excited about the new hospital.
"It will be extremely positive because it brings a ‘center of excellence’ presence to a city and community that needs it here in Park City," he said.
"It’s terrific you can manage the folks close to home and keep continuity of care as it should be," he said.
The planning with the local medical community required a lot of considerations, and the process was very time consuming, he said. For a while, people started to wonder if they would ever have a hospital.
"Now that the building going up, there’s real excitement that that day will be here and will support our community and practices like never before," he said.
Groundbreaking: April 30, 2007
Ribbon Cutting: Summer, 2009
Square Feet: 150,000