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'Hospital of the Future's' Top 20 Features

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, August 23, 2012

Flowing water cues hand-washing

1. 120 of the hospital's rooms are technologically capable of being instantly converted to an intensive care unit, "allowing you to escalate or de-escalate as needed."  This avoids moving patients around the hospital, reducing the risk of handoff errors or infections.

2. Faucets in each patient room start running water when their infrared devices signal a newcomer has arrived, a reminder to wash their hands. "We know that has the potential to reduce infections," Covert says.

3. There are no nursing stations. Instead, nurses' activities take place at a small workstation just outside each room in a way that allows them to chart while observing and talking with the patients. This is intended to reduce errors.

4. Adjacent to those stations are supply closets so staff don't waste time being "hunter-gatherers" running around to locate what they need.

5. 120 rooms have 550-pound hydraulic lifts device built into the ceiling to assist healthcare workers who need to move heavy patients. That saves time and reduces occupational injuries.

6. 120 rooms have the capability to perform renal dialysis so patients don't need to be moved.

7. Every 320-square foot room is wirelessly connected to an electronic medical record system so providers can document care in the patient's chart through a handheld device or laptop.

8. Operating rooms, cardiac cath labs, and interventional radiology suites are intertwined, and each can be quickly adapted for another use without moving the patient. "If we need more cath labs, we can change that overnight," Covert says. "I don't know of anyone else in the country who has that."

9. Part of the hospital has been designed under a "superdome" to enable MRI or CT machines to be replaced with newer models without having to tear out walls.

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5 comments on "'Hospital of the Future's' Top 20 Features"


John Rinset (9/10/2012 at 2:25 PM)
Several comments. I think the list of 20 is great. However, I do think that creating the common areas so staff and physicians can mingle needs to be supplemented for a space for physicians and staff to hang out alone. There are conversations they need to have with each other staff to staff and physician to physician that may be compromised by the common area. The meeting space could move to the physician parking lot, but not ideal. Also, no mention about cafeteria space, bereavement space or the onboarding space(registration), and finally the ER. All key places for a better patient experience. Are there kiosk in the lobby for patient/visitor access to information? Just some thoughts. Is the facility prepared to meet the future? Hard to know in this technology driven world. But this is a great start. Thanks for sharing.

Kelly Kline Burnett (9/6/2012 at 11:26 PM)
A beautiful atrium, fantastic technology, a sterile elevator but where is the ultimate in health - fitness. Why isn't this facility extolling the virtues of exercise with encouraging the use of the stairway. We must change our paradigm. We must start mandating movement. Prescriptive medicines MUST combine with cardio routines. Movement is a good thing, movement is the greatest luxury. Afterall, if you have your health, you have everything.

Julie D. Taylor (8/27/2012 at 4:32 PM)
Great acknowledgement of a truly groundbreaking hospital. With all the emphasis on the design, it would be good to note that LA-based CO Architects worked with Palomar for years to create this facility.