By Roxanne Squires
CHANDLER, Ariz. — Phoenix-based Banner Health, the state’s largest private employer and health system, recently began construction on their new 245,000-square-foot, $155 million hospital to serve Maricopa County as a comprehensive medical care center.
The new four-story hospital, given the name the Banner Ocotillo Medical Center, is situated on an18-acre site in the South East Valley, one of the fastest growing areas in Maricopa County.
Designed by architectural firm, SmithGroup, and working alongside general contractor, Tempe-based Okland Construction – the new medical center will welcome patients to approximately 120 beds, while providing imaging, surgery, labor and delivery, intensive care and an emergency room with space suitable for expansion.
SmithGroup Vice President – Health Studio Leader, Craig Passey, AIA, ACHA, explained that 66 percent of patients currently travel ten miles or more to receive healthcare while 22 percent of inpatients and 10 percent of emergency department patients are estimated as currently leaving the South East Valley to receive medical care.
Through this project, Banner Health seeks to deliver care where it’s needed, serving over 80,000 member in the Banner Health network that live within the South East Valley.
The emergency department entry is the first thing you see upon arrival, followed by the signature banner block entry tower that guides non-emergency patients to the facility’s front door.
The use of building massing and site strategies that lead to intuitive wayfinding to ease patient anxiety and stress upon arrival, and also utilizes daylight as well as a connection to nature to help guide internal circulation/wayfinding. The hospital design also enhances the patient/family waiting experience by providing family space inside patient units and at the bed side.
Reduced ‘waiting rooms’ to sub-waiting integrated into circulation outside of units, and provided private areas for families and physicians to consult immediately outside of sub-wait/patient units.
Narrowing corridors where bed traffic doesn’t occur assists in reducing circulation and travel distances, eliminating race track circulation around surgical departments, and creating cross corridor circulation that serves dual purposes.
Additionally, the design team has prefabricated and panelized the exterior envelope to create a safer work environment and shorten the construction schedule to bring services to the community sooner.
As with other facilities in the Banner Health System, Banner Ocotillo will utilize integrated patient record systems that will promote improved access to patient information by clinicians and staff and reduce patient errors.
Light fixtures equipped with surface disinfection technology and active air disinfection technology to kill HAI’s (‘Hospital Acquired Infections’) are also being installed at the new facility.
Construction commenced in November 2018and is forecasted for completion in August 2020.