Winter Haven Hospital has some big plans. Yesterday, Steve Nierman, President of Winter Haven Hospital (WHH), presented the plans for Phase 1 of a major expansion to the Winter Haven Economic Development Council, totaling a $51 million investment. Now that’s a big number, but it is just a portion of the investment WHH has made since they joined the Baycare Health System in 2013. From renovations at Winter Haven Women’s Hospital (formerly the Regency), to investments in IT infrastructure, new imaging equipment and more, Baycare has projected another $23 million in investment.
Winter Haven Hospital has given us many reasons to be proud over its almost 90 year history, but the way the world receives medical care is drastically changing. The $51 million investment is a more than just a construction project. It is about preparing WHH for the healthcare challenges of today and of tomorrow; making them more efficient, more functional, more technologically advanced, more organized and most importantly, more equipped to deliver a quality patient-focused experience.
This transformation of Winter Haven Hospital focuses on the Emergency Department, the ICU and the Cath Labs.
Phase 1 consists of three main elements:
- Adding two additional parking decks to the current parking garage, adding roughly 200 spaces.
- Building a new two-story building located in front of the current Emergency Department that will be connected to the current hospital building. This new building will house a new Emergency Department on the first floor and a shell for future ICUs and Cath Labs on the second floor (Phase 2 proposal).
- The existing 22,700 square feet of the current Emergency Department will be renovated to provide a separate 12-bed psychiatric Emergency Department, a new 14-bed medical observation unit and a new central sterile processing department.
Here are few of the highlights of the many things Mr. Nierman reviewed:
The Parking Garage:
While certainly not the most exciting of the announcements at its face value, this is a much needed start to make the other two items possible. The new two-story building will take up about 160 spaces currently located in front of the Emergency Department. The new Emergency Department will still have close parking for patients and visitors, but the additional 200 parking spaces in the garage will help off-set the decreased spaces, primarily for staff.
The New Two-Story Building
Currently the Emergency Department has 33 beds, both for medical ER patients as well as psychiatric patients. The new Emergency Department will have 51 beds in private rooms for medical ER patients and the new psychiatric Emergency Department will have an additional 12 beds. That means the Emergency Department will have a total of 63 beds. Here are a few of the highlights:
- This expansion will put WHH at the appropriate level of Emergency Department beds in comparison to their volume.
- They will institute Direct Bedding which will allow patients to be placed in a room at a much quicker pace (Nierman mentioned another Baycare hospital that has instituted this method in which wait times from quick assessment at check-in to being placed in a room to be 7 minutes). This will also reduce the risk of patients leaving without treatment due to wait times.
- The design of the new ER will be what Nierman called the “rack track” design in which the rooms will essentially be in a circle (or a square from this rendering) and will be accessible from both sides with one entrance for medical staff from the central station in the center of surrounding rooms, and a different entrance for patients’ families who will enter from the outside hallway. This will increase efficiency, ease of patient monitoring and communication and privacy, among other benefits.
- They will also be able to create a safer and more specialized environment with the physical separation of the medical Emergency Department patients and the psychiatric Emergency Department patients.
Medical Observation Unit
- This new 14-bed MOU will be adjacent to the new Emergency Department and will improve processes for managing observation patients who require timely diagnostic testing.
Intensive Care Units
- The proposed ICU units located on the second floor focus on optimizing the physician and patient experience. Each room size will be increased from 140 square feet with a 10 ft headwall to 200 square feet with a 13 ft headwall making it easier to bring in equipment for in-room emergency procedures.
- Currently the ICU walls are curtains. The new proposed space will have actual walls from increased privacy.
- Storage space will be drastically increased in the new space
- The location above the new Emergency Department will decrease travel time between the ER and the ICU (currently the 4 ICUs are spread over the hospital)
New Cath Labs
- The location of the Cath labs will be optimized, being close the Emergency Department, the surgical suites and the ICUs.
- New Cath labs will accommodate a future “Hybrid Lab” that allows surgical intervention, if needed
- By moving the Cath labs to this new building, they will free up space in the current hospital for more inpatient private bed capacity.
This is just a glimpse at the $51 million investment. Phase two could be upwards of a $16 million investment.