By Roxanne Squires
PROVO, Utah — Intermountain Healthcare’s Utah Valley Hospital recently opened the new Pedersen Patient Tower for patient care, marking substantial completion of an ongoing $430 million hospital replacement project that began in 2015.
The 600,000-square-foot, 12-story tower features all new spaces including 234 patient rooms, an emergency department and clinical evaluation unit, main entrance, registration, surgery and interventional services, Neuro-Shock-Trauma ICU and Cardiovascular ICU, a café, gift shop, chapel and Valley Bistro.
The building is also designed to allow for a fairly quick expansion of its ICU, if needed.
Another key design feature of the Pedersen Tower is the size of its new patient rooms, which are double in size of the former medical/surgical rooms.
These new rooms provide sufficient space for caregivers to provide treatment and for family or friends to visit patients in the hospital.
“Some of the enhancements will bring a lot more care to the patients—and we’re trying to minimize patient impact as much as possible,” said Adam Jensen, Facility Design Executive Director, Intermountain Healthcare. “All materials and staff interaction are handled on an offstage corridor; we also added decentralized nurse stations to increase not only the caregiver’s time with patient, but increase the amount of interaction between staff to minimize medication errors.”
Jensen also explained that the design integrates all of the treatment areas on the same floor, including the ORs and IRs, Cath Labs, Interventional Radiology and GI Labs. They even share the same prep and post-operation spaces.
The new patient tower also incorporates a state-of-the art tool known as the “Get Well” Network—which provides an education entertainment system that is easily accessed by patients and allows them to research medical information, receive post-operation information from their doctor, enjoy entertainment and even order lunch.
The facility also applies false risk technology, which is a way to minimize cost by way of monitoring a patient who’s at risk in a very dissecting manner, and notifies staff immediately when movement is detected.
Finally, the last stage of the replacement project will include the demolition of the existing East Tower to create a healing garden that includes an outdoor eating space for the new River Rock Café.
A new laboratory area will also be created, and a pedestrian bridge will be built to access medical clinics across the busy street on which the hospital is located.
By completing this project, Intermountain Healthcare’s Utah Valley Hospital will achieve the replacement of aging buildings with new seismically sound facilities, enable the hospital to apply evidence-based concepts to patient care, relocate complimentary services lines within the hospital to be more efficient, and to meet current healthcare needs of Utah County — one of the fastest-growing counties in the country, according to Intermountain Healthcare.
All in all, Jensen explained that the success of building a patient tower adjacent to an existing structure is quite an accomplishment.
“In the trying time that we had, we were able to take such an enormous project and bring it within the allotted budget we had. Having something that’s been under design and construction for five years, and still have it track under budget is a significant feat,” said Jensen. “The most impressive factor, as we complete the building and transfer patients and staff, is the significant time table piece. It was a very quick over-the-weekend move that everything slid over from one building to the next. It’s been pretty seamless.”
The new Pedersen Patient Tower at Intermountain Healthcare’s Utah Valley Hospital opened for patient care on Jan. 27, 2019 with the anticipation of the healing garden and dining room expansion to be completed by March 2020.
HDR Inc. of Omaha, Neb., is the architecture firm while major subcontractors for the project include Sunroc of St. George, Utah; Taylor Electric Inc. of Salt Lake City; J & S Mechanical of Draper, Utah; SDI (Standard Drywall) of San Diego; Cache Valley Electric of Logan, Utah; and Pacific Cabinets of Salt Lake City.
The facility is also on track for LEED Silver certification, noting its minimal waste practices.