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News New Hospital Project Benefits Patients

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As the new three-story addition has risen from the ground these past months, anticipation in the community has been growing too. What about the new Samaritan Pacific Communities Hospital will be better? How does this full building project make us a stronger health care provider?

Here are some of the ways your new, community hospital will make health care at the central Coast better than ever before:

Built with the patient at the center 
Hospital staff worked closely with architects and builders from the beginning to ensure that the full project will make our care better for patients. In many ways, we made our services more convenient for patients and more efficient for staff to work quickly and competently for our patients. Our medical equipment will be the most modern equipment available, and the entire building will be built to the safest standards.

The number of inpatient beds remains the same, but size and flexibility increases 
Because SPCH is a federally designated Critical Access Hospital (CAH), we cannot have more than 25 inpatient beds. However, each inpatient room is larger and more flexible space. Three of those rooms will be “flex rooms” meaning that during critical times we can alter the type of care needed: one room can serve as either an ICU or ACU room, and two of those rooms can serve as either ACU or Labor & Delivery rooms. Also, the Sleep Lab, which currently takes up two inpatient beds, will have its own dedicated area (in 2020) and will not use beds in ACU.

Here’s a fact you may not know: The majority of SPCH business is in outpatient services
83% of total revenue for our hospital comes from outpatient services (2018). Based on that fact and the hospital’s current average inpatient census of 10.58, 25 beds are adequate to meet customer demand. Also, increasingly, hospital stays are often shorter than in years past and many people are now able to be treated at home for illnesses that used to require long hospitalizations. In fact, procedures once requiring long inpatient stays such as total knee replacements, can now be done as outpatient procedures in many cases.

Room for loved one to stay overnight 
Inpatient rooms will be spacious enough for a family member to stay overnight in all-new convertible beds. Additionally, most rooms will have views of the Bayfront or ocean.

Expanded Emergency with fast-track option
The new Emergency Department will have double the number of exam rooms (17 rooms, up from 8 currently), and will have a new “fast-track” option for lower acuity issues such as an earache in the middle of the night, or a cut needing stitches. This section will be separate from the trauma area of the ER, protecting patients from seeing those issues. Two of the rooms in the ER will be designated as safe rooms, specially designed for comfort, decreased stimulation and safety for mental health patients. Additionally, the ER will be only steps from the helipad, so trauma patients won’t be wheeled through the hospital, but will be quickly and privately moved to further transport.

Clinics all in one space 
Currently, we have clinics located in separate offices all over campus, but in the new addition, most of our clinics will be co-located on the second floor. That makes it more convenient for the patients who utilize multiple services and allows our clinicians to consult across disciplines more easily. It will have the effect of ‘taking down the walls’ between clinics, all for the benefit of patients and staff. This floor will also offer Imaging and Laboratory services, so patients can get those procedures done more conveniently.

Expanded Surgery capacity
We will have five operating rooms (up from 4), all of them considerably larger than currently, which allows our surgical teams to work more efficiently. Additionally, we will have a C-section room in OB. All rooms will also have the latest technology in surgical equipment and communications technology.

Diagnostic Imaging all in one location
The entire Imaging department will be in one location for the first time, making it easier for clinicians to help patients. We will have a new MRI machine that will be faster and less enclosed for patients who are fearful of tight spaces. And we will also have the latest technology in other areas such as CT, Dexa, Ultrasound, Mammography and X-ray.

Adding Nuclear Medicine 
In the second quarter of 2019, we will add a nuclear medicine service line, including a nuclear medicine camera called a Spect-CT.

Back hallway for patient transport
The new addition will allow staff to transport patients privately through a back hallway rather than through common areas of the hospital as we do currently.

Full seismic upgrade
Both the new addition and the renovated “88 building” will be built to the seismic zone standards of our area, making both buildings safer in the event of an earthquake. 

In the completed project, which includes both the new addition and the renovated current facility and is expected to be complete in early 2020, the hospital will offer the following: 

Expanded Infusion Services
The renovated 88 building will have 11 infusion bays (up from 7), all more private than currently.

Expanded Cardiopulmonary Rehab
The gym in Cardiopulmonary Rehab will be three-times larger and will include a separate classroom area.

Improved Sleep Lab
Our sleep lab will be in a quieter environment better designed for sleep studies. In this new area, we will be able to do a greater variety of tests.

Larger Wound Care area
Wound Care will double its size, with treatment space for 10 people. 

Improved Laboratory
With more space, the Lab will have new equipment and a more improved traffic flow that decreases interruptions in testing. Also, the lab will be more convenient for patients with registration and the lab waiting area near the main lobby.

Kitchen and Café growing
The current hospital kitchen is using equipment from the very original hospital, built in the 1950s. In their new space, the kitchen triples in size with fully modern equipment, which will allow for expanded meal offerings. Visitors and staff will have plenty of space to eat in the roomy café.

Physical, Occupational and Speech Therapy already in expanded space
While this move took place before the rest of the hospital, this department is already in its new 6,300 square foot facility, with more modern equipment, more private patient rooms and a spacious gym for therapy.

These are only some of the enhancements. When complete in 2020, the new Samaritan Pacific Communities Hospital will remain a nonprofit organization dedicated to serving everyone who needs care, regardless of their ability to pay for services, and it will also be a hospital built for a new generation of people, a hospital built to expand and grow, to provide the best in health care for our residents and visitors well into the future.