In the rapidly shifting health care environment a lot of us are left wondering what the hospital of tomorrow might look like. One Colorado health system, however, has already built it, and is set to debut the futuristic facility on Tuesday.
Faced with an aging, 44-year-old facility in north suburban Denver and a growing need to move care out of the hospital, Centura Health System leaders decided to start anew. After two years of construction, the 15-hospital, two-state network is rolling out its new St. Anthony North Health Campus in Westminster, Col.
Rather than just focusing on inpatient beds, the new facility is geared much more toward what health care may look like decades down the line, says CEO Carole Peet, R.N. While the $177-million hospital will include 92 inpatient beds, it's fashioned much more toward health, wellness and outpatient care.
"We really began to look at what health care will look like moving into the future and how we can think about care from a different perspective," she says. "As we looked at facility planning, we realized that it would be easier to create a new footprint than to renovate our current one, and that then led us to begin to asking the question: How can we design something that won't be obsolete 20 years from now? Where is health care headed, and how can we think more proactively?"
Centura held focus groups with patients in the new location — a fast-growing area near Denver and 10 miles north of the old facility — and found that they wanted something that didn't quite feel like a hospital, and was geared more toward health. The system set about meeting those desires, adorning the building with natural stone and wood materials, floor-to-ceiling windows, three gardens and an outdoor walking path to give it a more welcoming, resort-like feel.
Potential patients also expressed a desire to have all their needs handled at one location. Centura obliged with a 350,000 square-foot facility, complete with everything from nutrition counseling and healthy cooking classes, to outpatient surgery, a pharmacy, diagnostic services and 50 primary care practices. The consumer patient, Peet believes, is less willing than ever before to make three separate trips for a doctor's appointment, X-ray and surgery, and would prefer to get all three done in one fell swoop.
"One of the things we heard loud and clear from our population and our community was they wanted one-stop shopping. They really wanted to park their cars and get everything done in one location," she says. "Our real value proposition that we are trying to bring to the community is we want to deliver around service and convenience, and we tried to build all of those components into our foot print to make it easier for us to deliver on those."
One of the challenges will be making sure that all those pieces along the health care continuum are tightly knit together, and that providers ensure smooth transitions along the way. It will be an adjustment at first, but Peet expects her clinicians will do just fine.
"It's a shift for providers to think differently, but we really want to put the patient at the center of all of the decisions that we make and all of the care that we deliver."
If you'd like to read more on hospitals making the move to treat their patients more like consumers and compete on convenience and service, be sure to check out the first part in our 2015 series on the topic. The American Hospital Association also just released a new report, aiming to aid hospitals in redefining themselves in the shift toward value-based care.