Medical Construction & Design

SEP-OCT 2014

Medical Construction & Design (MCD) is the industry's leading source for news and information and reaches all disciplines involved in the healthcare construction and design process.

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mcdmag.com September/October 2014 | Medical Construction & Design 31 use of multiple vendor products that do not align seamlessly. The complexities of upgrading an older system were particularly acute for the Samuel Simmonds Memorial Hos- pital in Barrow, Alaska. Fifty years after building its original, 30,000-square-foot wood structure in 1963, the hospital opened a 100,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility devel- oped by the Arctic Slope Native Association, the Indian Health Service and the Denali Commission. Immediately, the hospital transitioned from using manual processes to the most up-to- date digital technologies for patients in the northernmost city in the United States. Responding to unique needs The new infrastructure overhauled the operations of the hos- pital from top to bottom, including clinical solutions, building management and security, all the way down to point-of-sale systems. Although major changes are daunting for any small hospital, Simmonds had greater challenges than most: the hospital is remote, its staff size is limited and the local commu- nity has a distinct culture and geography. The most effective technological solutions are never just off-the-shelf; the new digital infrastructure for Simmonds had to respond directly to the hospital's location and the unique needs of its patients. For example, one of Simmonds' biggest challenges was fi nding a replacement system for nurse calls. In the old hospi- tal, patients had used hand bells to call for assistance. ASNA considered several vendors, but did not want to buy the latest, greatest technology just for the sake of having it. Instead, a solution was found that was functional, could expand along with a growing healthcare system and was easy for the local community to use and understand. During the design and construction process for Simmonds, the technology team reviewed the infrastructure upgrades at three points to re-evaluate its recommendations and make course corrections. Since the project took a total of nine years (fi ve years of design and four years of construction), this allowed the team to accommodate changes in technology that occurred during this time frame. PHOTOS: ARI BURLING Above: The Samuel Simmonds Memorial Hospital is a new 100,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility in Barrow, Alaska. The hospital transitioned from a 30,000-square-foot facility using manual processes to the most up-to-date digital technologies for patients in the northernmost city in the United States. Left: Patient room at the Samuel Simmonds Memorial Hospital, in Barrow, Alaska. Integrated technologies that enhance patient experience and clinical effi ciencies include wireless communica- tions, nurse call, real-time locating system, pillow speaker room controls and video displays.

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