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St. Joseph’s Hospital South now detailed on paper

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Plans for the multi-million dollar, 112-bed, acute care facility at Big Bend Road and Simmons Loop call for a medical center with cutting edge features.

By MELODY JAMESON

SOUTH COUNTY – Ground has not yet been broken for a new St. Joseph’s Hospital here, but its structural planning and design now are committed to paper.

And plans for the multi-million dollar, 112-bed, acute care facility on a 72-acre campus at Big Bend Road and Simmons Loop call for a medical center with cutting edge features aimed at patient ease wherever possible, according to Lisa Patterson, hospital spokesperson.

Incorporating “evidence-based design,” St. Joseph’s South is to be characterized by use of natural lighting, by soft, filtered artificial illumination built into hallway walls rather than glaring from harsh overhead fixtures, by decentralized nursing stations, by multiple hand washing sites, by private rooms with full bathrooms and in-room family areas, by adjacent connected private physician offices, by spaces and suites specifically designated for a full range of medical specialties.

Evidence based design, Patterson said, takes into consideration the effects of the structure on patient outcomes, on patient and personnel morale, as well as on employee productivity.

Construction on the $225 million facility is anticipated to begin in about a year – during the second quarter of 2012 – and proceed in two phases. The first phase is to be a 40,000-square-foot medical offices building (MOB) set in the northeast corner of the site, Patterson said, adding this initial structure will allow physicians and other medical specialists serving the surrounding area to establish office headquarters as the hospital is being built. Scheduled for completion in early 2013, it also will be the part of the campus most visible from Big Bend Road.

The subsequent phase – construction of the 325,000-square-foot hospital itself — is expected to get underway in the last quarter of 2012. Plans also call for, at the same time, beginning a second MOB which will be physically connected to the hospital, making more accessibility possible in the attending physician- hospitalized patient relationship. This medical offices complex – at 80,000 square feet - is double the size of the first MOB, Patterson noted.

Onsite activity at this time involves mostly formal surveying of sections in the acreage, Patterson noted. Both the required environmental studies and proposed roadway improvements, as well as the preliminary site plan, have been provided to county authorities, she added.

The hospital centerpiece in the campus layout is designed for both inpatient and outpatient care, with facilities for general surgery, pediatric surgery, orthopedics, urology, endoscopic, gastro-intestinal, obstetric and intensive care units. A full diagnostic imaging department – MRI, CT, X-ray, mammography, ECHO, ultrasound and nuclear - plus emergency services also are included in the design.

Of its 112 beds, 60 are to be dedicated to medical and surgical patients, 16 slated in ICU, 14 for mother-baby use and 22 set aside for patient observation purposes. Other space allocations include four operating room suites, four maternity labor and delivery rooms and two interventional suites. The emergency medical services area will encompass 26 exam rooms plus two designated for emergency psychiatric care.

St. Joseph’s South also is to have a section devoted to referral services, linking patients quickly, seamlessly with the main hospital in Tampa regarding such matters as trauma services, cardiac surgery, multiple birth and/or high risk obstetrics, the neo-natal ICU, children’s care and in connection with the cancer institute, Patterson said.

Other features in the new hospital, she pointed out, will involve electronic medical records, sophisticated patient education and entertainment systems, radio frequency ID tracking capability and wireless connections.

The facility also will be built with “green” standards in mind, Patterson added. Attention is being given high efficiency systems to reduce energy consumption, use of building materials with recycled content, choice of building materials and furnishings to minimize toxic chemical emissions, means of reducing water consumption and maintaining high indoor air quality.

The completed campus, with its primary entrance from Simmons Loop, is expected to be ready for use early in 2015, Patterson said, and offer an estimated 500 new employment opportunities in medical professional and non-professional categories.

St. Joseph’s South will join the Baycare Health System, a Hillsborough-based, not-for-profit alliance of community- oriented hospitals and outpatient centers that includes the original St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tampa, St. Joseph’s Childrens, St. Joseph’s Womens, the recently-opened St. Joseph’s North and South Florida Baptist Hospital in Plant City.

Its service area, Patterson added, includes Southeast Tampa, Apollo Beach, Gibsonton, Riverview, Brandon, Valrico, Lithia, Ruskin, Sun City Center, Wimauma and parts south.

Copyright 2011 Melody Jameson

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