Cone Health Opens North Tower
North Tower opens the week of June 16, to patients and visitors. The $200 million, six-story addition brings a new level of patient care and comfort to The Moses H. Cone Memorial Hospital. It is the largest construction project in Cone Health’s 60-year history.
“It is easy to get caught up in the size and features of the building itself. But this is really an investment in patient care,” says Cone Health Board of Trustees Chairman Dr. Hank Smith. “North Tower improves the quality and service of care that we will provide to our patients and does so more efficiently. This project will elevate the medical care in our community for decades to come.”
North Tower features:
- 96 private rooms designed to enhance the safety and care of patients.
- 16 large, modern operating rooms.
- An expanded emergency department.
- The latest in green, sustainable design.
- Easier access to the hospital from Church Street through a new main entrance opening in January.
The large, patient rooms are arranged in an oval with the rooms on the outside. This ensures that every room has natural light and means that patient rooms are not directly across from one another – reducing noise. “Private rooms not only do the obvious and give patients privacy, they also improve patient care,” says Moses Cone Hospital President Judy Schanel. “Private rooms mean patients can get more rest because they are less stressed, and studies have shown that infection rates decline with private rooms. All of these factors will help our patients heal more quickly.” The rooms also feature areas for family members who want to stay overnight with loved ones and rimless showers to reduce the risk of falls as patients climb in and out. Nursing work stations are scattered throughout the floors putting nurses close to their patients.
The larger operating rooms in North Tower provide better layouts ensuring smooth work flows for equipment and surgical teams. The bigger rooms allow more technology, which will help care for patients undergoing complex procedures. There is also a hybrid operating room that houses sophisticated imaging equipment. The room will allow advanced heart and vascular work to be done in a minimally invasive manner – avoiding major surgery and long recovery times. Patients and supplies will be moved in and out of the operating rooms through a “sterile core.” This design uses dedicated elevators and hallways to improve efficiency and to protect the privacy of patients.
People coming to the emergency department will notice a larger waiting area. They will also find 78 treatment areas laid out in pods designed to help staff to more quickly assess and treat those who come for care.
North Tower is a contender for LEED certification, reflecting socially responsible architecture. It takes advantage of natural light and has 53 roof-top solar panels that heat water. North Tower will be the first healthcare facility in the state and one of only three hospitals in the nation to heat and cool patient rooms with “chilled beams” – a water/convection heating and air-conditioning system that is up to 30 percent more efficient than most current hospital systems.
North Tower becomes the main entrance to the hospital in January once a major hallway inside the existing hospital is connected.
Many welcoming touches are part of the project. Outside the entrance are a fountain and a “healing garden” for families and visitors. More than 70 photographs hang throughout the building. These were selected with patient care in mind. Art has the ability to relax, inspire and benefit the healing of patients. The photographs are the works of six North Carolina artists and are gifts from members of the community.
While the North Tower is complete, the project continues with the renovation of 83,000 square feet of existing space within Moses Cone Hospital. This will be completed in early 2015 and will add expanded areas to prepare patients for surgery and updated areas to monitor and care for them after surgery.
“North Tower is the single largest investment we have ever made in the health of our community,” says Cone Health Chief Executive Officer Tim Rice. “It really does take our continued mission of service to our community to new heights.”