Doctors, nurses flex creative muscle in design rooms so new SLU Hospital is built to perfection

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ST. LOUIS – SSM HEALTH SLU Hospital breaks ground this week on a brand new hospital.

It will be located across the street from the old hospital and will cost about $550 million. The people in charge want to make sure everything is as close to perfect as possible. They will include the latest technology and ideas.

The said, “We really want the patients to feel at home; to have a healing environment,” said Dr. Robert Heaney, CEO of SLUCare Physician Group

A huge tent is in place for Thursday’s ceremonial groundbreaking, but construction crews already have been busy on the project’s infrastructure. Several thousand workers will be employed to build the new hospital.

“At the peak of construction, it’s approximately 3,000 people who will be working in various aspect of this project,” said Kate Becker, SLU Hospital president.

The hospital will feature lots of windows with views of trees and nature.

“One of the ways we provide a healing environment is by integrating nature into the design of the facility,” Becker said.

The hospital found studies showing nature can improve a patient’s recovery.

SLU Hospital has a Design Center, which contains mock-ups of all types of hospital rooms. The rooms and the equipment are all made of foam, so it’s easy to move objects around and see the final product before a design is set in stone.

“If you’re trying to imagine that on a computer screen or on blueprints, it’s really not the same thing,” Heaney said.

Doctors, nurses and other hospital employees have been through the center to put in their two cents as to how a room should be designed, whether a chair should be moved to a different location. A small example: the phone in the operating room has been marked out and put near the gloves.

“It’s a much better teaching environment and a much better care environment if you organize the simple things correctly,” Heaney said.

All 316 patient rooms will be private. The new hospital is expected to open in September 2020.

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