by George Bischalaney,President & CEO, Eden Medical Center
Planning for the construction of the medical office building adjoining the new Eden Medical Center has started in earnest. While the hospital itself has been under construction for a year now, the medical office building project was staged to begin at a later time when, so that both buildings are complete and open at the same time in 2013.
The office building is anticipated to be four stories and provide more than 80,000 square feet of space to house physicians and some hospital staff and services. The building will be connected to the hospital at each of the four levels, providing quick access by providers and staff using the building through controlled access points. The general public will have open access from the ground level. We intentionally planned for some hospital support staff to be in the building. We want to preserve as much space in the hospital building itself for clinical space and patient needs.
Programming, or definition of specific spaces in the building, is now underway. This means defining space on each level by occupant and provider type. An important part of this planning is the space designated for the Urgent Care Center, which will be located on the ground floor of the office building and close to the future hospital Emergency Department. In addition to planning for the scope of care and space for the Urgent care Center, we need to designate the necessary support space and establish initial plans for how the center will work in conjunction with the Emergency Department when they open.
Throughout the planning process, there remains a commitment to provide the Urgent Care Center. Ideally, it will offer a faster, lower cost venue for non-emergent needs of patients. This is much needed in our community and definitely in line with national and regional health care reform principles.