In response to accelerated growth in demand for services, City of Hope has opened the newly renovated East Unit A. The new unit is intended primarily for medical/surgical patients who require shorter-length hospital stays.
Advanced technology, exceptional clinical care and research have contributed to an increased patient census, according to Larry Kidd, R.N., vice president of Patient Care Services and chief nurse executive. As a result, the hospital is at approximately 95 percent capacity many days of the week. This poses challenges to meeting the comprehensive needs of patients.
“Our clinical team has evaluated trends and patterns in types of patients,” said Kidd. “From our analysis, we determined that, on an incremental basis, there is a need to increase bed capacity.”
Over the past several months, the area previously known as Wing 5 in the former Main Medical building underwent extensive renovation. This activity was the first step in a multistage process of renewal intended to address the growing demand for services.
Upgrades to the new unit include conversion of all rooms to single occupancy, with full-privacy bathrooms in most, wireless technology, new beds and furniture, improved lighting, resurfaced cabinetry and improvements to the nursing stations.
“These upgrades will allow us to provide the high level of patient care and comfort available in Helford Hospital,” said James S. Miser, M.D., chief executive officer and chief medical officer of City of Hope National Medical Center.
The new unit will initially open to a capacity of 10 patients and will subsequently increase later in the year. Procedures have been developed that allow opening and closing of the unit based on demand. This flexibility will increase operational efficiency, according to Kidd.
Training and orientation to familiarize staff with the new facilities have already begun. Mildred Ortiz, B.S.N., R.N., will be the nurse manager in charge of the unit. She currently has oversight of the inpatient surgical unit in Helford Clinical Research Hospital at City of Hope, as well.
The Office of Statewide Health Planning & Development cleared transport of patients through the Bridge of Healing between Wing 1 and Helford Hospital on Dec. 16, 2005. The California Department of Health Services gave approval on Dec. 28.