New Clinical Pavilion
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This is an exciting time as we enter a new phase of growth at Thomas. Construction is well-under way, six-floor addition that will add private rooms, obstetrics unit, surgical center, satellite gift shop, cafe and kitchen.
"This project is demand-driven, not dream-driven," said Steve Dexter, CEO of Thomas Health System. "We're building because we're having more patients and more doctors coming to Thomas Memorial. We have more surgeons coming who need to have operating room time. Some are booked three or four weeks out. We've more than doubled the number of births we have here in the last 10 years.
"The ground floor will have a new cafeteria," Dexter said. "It will replace the one we now have, which was built in the 1950s. When you go to the hospital to visit, you spend time in the hospital room visiting your loved one and in the cafeteria visiting with family. We want to upgrade to modern spaces where patients and families can feel comfortable in a nice atmosphere."
The first floor will feature three operating rooms, representing a 44% increase in the hospital's operating room capacity. The expansion is needed for several reasons. One is the fact that Thomas Memorial has more doctors. "Last year we recruited 23 doctors," Dexter said. "We've recruited nine this year and will probably end up with 15 or 16. When you recruit a surgeon, they need operating room time. We need more operating room space."
The second floor will contain 19 private rooms for obstetrical patients.
"Having a baby is a joyous time but also a private time," Dexter said. "When you come in and have your baby, you'll have your own room. It'll be a private room. We know that family is important, so these rooms will be family-friendly."
Each of the top three floors will have 32 private rooms, for a total of 96. That will allow the hospital to convert all of its other medical surgical rooms into private rooms and "we'll be an all-private-room hospital," Dexter said.
He pointed out that studies show that by going from a semi-private to a private room, there are fewer hospital-acquired infections, fewer medication errors and fewer falls.
If you are in a semi-private room and your roommate has an airborne disease, there is some possibility of becoming infected. "With a private room, you are not sharing the air, not sharing the restroom," Dexter said.
"The new rooms are designed to be very accommodating to family - they're designed for a family member to stay overnight," Dexter said.
The new Clinical Pavilion will increase Thomas Memorial's bed count from 225 to 260. The aim is to be finished with the building by the summer of 2010.