By Rachel Leber
LONGMONT, Colo. — UCHealth in Denver is slated to complete construction on the new Longs Peak hospital in Longmont this June. The new hospital will address the healthcare needs of the surrounding and fast-growing populations north and east of Longmont including Niwot, Firestone, Erie, Frederick and Dacono that currently must travel elsewhere to receive care.
This 210,000-square-foot building includes the Longs Peak Hospital and the UCHealth Longs Peak Surgery Center, with a budget of $190 million. The architect on the project is WHR Architects out of Dallas, Texas, and the general contractor is Haselden Construction out of Denver. The new hospital will have 51 inpatient beds with room for 50 more with approximately 80,000 square feet of shelled space for future inpatient needs, according to Dan Robinson, chief executive officer of the new UCHealth Longs Peak Hospital.
The hospital waiting areas on all three floors open to a bright and sunny atrium with 73 feet of glass. All of the stairways are surrounded by windows bringing in natural light, which will encourage people —patients, physicians, visitors and more — to take the stairs instead of the elevators, according to Robinson. All of the post partum rooms have large windows with views of Long’s Peak, and many of the other patient rooms face west, bringing in lots of light. “The orientation of the rooms and the large windows makes the patient rooms warm, inviting and family-friendly,” said Robinson.
The hospital’s architecture uses regional stone and wood building products to maintain a local feel, according to Tushar Gupta, lead designer at WHR Architects. “WHR’s design team is proud to collaborate with UCHealth to create an innovative, welcoming and healing environment for the community,” said Gupta, in a recent statement. “The design establishes a strong visual identity, in distinctive form and native materiality, that will be part of UCHealth’s new facilities throughout the region going forward,” Gupta said.
The entire hospital structure is being built to LEED standards with the use of sustainable building materials, and prefab construction was employed for the project, according to Robinson. “The use of prefab construction was an effort on our part to increase the timeline of the hospital construction, and also to be environmentally responsible,” Robinson said.
The hospital will have an intensive care unit, a level III trauma center and emergency department, and advanced cardiac services. It will have a birthing center with a level II special care nursery, and a heliport for emergency transfers to other acute-care hospitals. There will be lab and imaging services, and a 24 hours a day seven day a week retail pharmacy. Additionally, the hospital will offer premie care, and will provide endoscopic ultrasound amongst other advanced services.
A unique trait of this hospital is a new technology for health care: innovative telehealth services, for internal and external communication. UCHealth is installing a technology for internal communication called “Vocera” which allows physicians, nurses and caregivers to communicate directly with each other without the constant noise and interruption of an overhead paging system.
Additionally, a wireless IT platform called “DocLine” will enable the hospital to communicate with other doctors and facilities outside of the Hospital. Physicians will be able to gain realtime consult from specialists via video telecommunication so that patients, doctors and the outside specialists can have consult right in the patient room. “If our beds are full and we need to admit a patient, we can automatically call the DocLine for the nearest hospital available,” Robinson said. DocLine also has the ability to dispatch ambulances based on the needs of the patient and based on the request of the referring physician, according to Robinson.