After years of regulatory wrangling and courtroom battles, Trinity Medical Center’s relocation to the facility on U.S. 280 is a reality and construction has begun. Completion of the $280 million project is expected by early 2016.
“The planning and getting through contested court cases has taken years,” says Keith Granger, Chief Executive Officer of Trinity. “Now there is an air of excitement for what this facility can do for the citizens in the area.
The new hospital will be known as Grandview Medical Center and will include a 220,000-square-foot professional office building built atop the parking deck. The hospital itself will contain just under one million square feet of space that will include 372 rooms including 72 intensive care unit beds. “The rooms are much larger than the ones in our current facility and will be more comfortable for patients,” says Sean Dardeau, Chief Operating Officer. “Patients and visitors will be struck by the beauty inside the hospital as well as the great views outside the windows. It looks more like a hotel than an institutional building.”
The 12-story facility will also include six catheterization labs on the same floor and adjacent to the high-capacity Emergency Department (ED) to minimize transit time for patients who arrive at the ED in need of immediate cardiac intervention. There will also be dedicated CT imaging capabilities in the ED and an onsite heliport for receiving emergency patients. A hybrid operating room will provide surgical capabilities inside a specialized catheterization lab.
“Throughout the facilities, inpatient, outpatient and emergency care will be enhanced by new technology that is built into the facility’s design. It will allow physicians to complete rounds and track their patients’ progress with quick access to patient information,” Dardeau says.
A chapel will be located among the critical care rooms, and there will be new options for in-room dining. “We are working on amenities for patients, such as large-screen televisions, wireless capability, and in-room media education for disease management and discharge planning information,” Dardeau says. “Each room will include a computer for nurses to use for charting at the patient’s bedside. There will also be status boards that will include information about patients, such as fall risks and specific needs. The nurses can know information about each patient with just a glance at the board.”
Dardeau says that the vertical integration in the building will allow patients and visitors to find their way around the facility quickly. “A comprehensive new design allows us to flow patients to the places they need to go without confusion,” he says. “We also are spending considerable time on ‘way-finding’ and exploring the use of kiosks and other electronic media to help patients and visitors navigate the facilities more easily.”
“Most everyone will park in in the one million-square-foot parking garage being built west of the patient tower. For patient convenience, parking levels will align with specific services so that the patient will use a designated entrance for surgery, obstetrics or GI procedures. This will help minimize the distance patients have to walk and make specialized areas of the hospital more accessible,” he says. “The building design is all about addressing patient needs, and providing an environment in which physicians and nurses can deliver care in the most efficient manner possible.”
Granger acknowledges the hospital is relocating into an area of Birmingham that experiences significant traffic congestion, but says residents along the 280 corridor were among the strongest advocates for Trinity’s relocation. “Emergency vehicles come down this corridor now and face terrible delays in accessing the hospitals further in town,” he says. “Our relocation will cut the distance in half and allow patients – particularly those in ambulances for whom time is critical – to access medical care more quickly. It also allows emergency personnel to be back in service in half the time.”
Dardeau points out that major employee shift changes at the hospital will occur at 6:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. to avoid adding hospital employee traffic to the busy highway during peak rush hour times. “Drivers will also have access to Cahaba River Road and other access roads if they want to avoid U.S. 280 when coming to our hospital,” he says.
As for the economy around the U.S. 280 corridor, Granger says the hospital project is doing what was anticipated. “There is lots of retail interest in the area, and the project is stimulating the economy,” he says.
Granger also sees the new Grandview Medical Center as a symbol of the improvements the Trinity staff has made in healthcare delivery over the past four years. “We have challenged our staff to have the best health care product and to deliver it at the bedside. They have responded, and we have received many accolades for our dramatic improvement in using evidenced-based quality measures. Now we have a building to match that improvement. It is a compliment to the hard work of our staff,” Granger says. “This is an exciting time in our hospital’s history.”