$161 Million South Patient Tower to Include All-Private Intensive Care and Medical/Surgical Rooms

Inova Health System and Inova Fairfax Hospital executives join community leaders and politicians for the groundbreaking of the South Patient Tower.

Falls Church, VA- (June 28, 2010) – Inova Fairfax Hospital is excited to announce plans to construct a new 11-story South Patient Tower on the campus. The tower will consist of 174 all-private intensive-care and medical/surgical patient rooms. The additional 216,000 square feet will enable the hospital to meet future inpatient and outpatient needs and will allow for flexibility if there is a surge in patients during a disaster or pandemic event. Total cost of the project is estimated at $161 million.

“With increased demand for healthcare services in this area, it is critical for a hospital like Inova Fairfax, which serves as the hub of a community healthcare system, to expand to meet the future needs of our community,” said L. Reuven Pasternak, MD, CEO, Inova Fairfax Hospital Campus. “This outstanding new space will provide a place where caregivers and patients can work together to ensure excellent patient care and a positive experience for the patient. The expansion also signals that Inova Fairfax continues to be a center for innovation in medical education and research, attracting the best talent in the country.”

Construction of the South Patient Tower will begin this summer and is expected to be completed in the fall of 2012. The tower will stand at the entrance of the existing main hospital, and the two structures will connect on all 11 levels. The patient units were designed with the input and ideas of doctors, nurses and staff to develop rooms that enable caregivers to deliver the best patient care possible.

The design of the intensive-care units (ICUs) concentrates ICU specialties in areas by floor. For example, the neurosciences ICU is directly linked to the neurosciences intermediate-care unit (IMC), which leads directly to the existing main hospital. So, as a patient recovers, they will be transferred from one unit to the next but remain on the same floor. The concentrated areas also enable staff to work with those in their specialty and to form cohesive clinical teams.

“The design and equipment in the ICU rooms in the new tower will really allow us to take critical care and trauma care to the next level,” said Christopher Michetti, MD, Trauma Surgeon, Inova Fairfax Hospital. “One of the best features will be 360-degree access to patients. As trauma surgeons, we’ll have the tools and proper lighting to perform procedures right at the bedside and be able to access the patient from all angles.”

The medical/surgical units are designed to create an environment that is conducive to healing, while structured for ease of use by staff. There will be workstations outside of patient rooms so staff can monitor patients while giving them a sense of privacy. Also, each medical/surgical floor will have telemetry capability for patients who require cardiac monitoring, enabling patients to remain in their rooms rather than being transferred to a separate telemetry unit.

“When we sat down to design the medical/surgical units, we took into account our patient population and their specialized needs,” said Mary Dixon, RN, Senior Director, Medical/Surgical Services, Inova Fairfax Hospital. “More than half of the patients we see are over the age of 65, so we’re really focusing on creating a safe healing environment that works for the older population. We consulted with design experts on all aspects of the room, from the placement of the bathrooms to the color schemes and patterns, to create not just a room, but a healing environment.”

In keeping with Inova’s commitment to sustainability, the design of the South Patient Tower includes many environmentally sustainable aspects and is seeking Silver Certification from the Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) building certification system. Patients will see elements such as a “green” roof, water cisterns and rain gardens. The design also incorporates a highly efficient energy system and insulation, as well as paints, carpets and furniture with low or no volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

The project was designed by Wilmot Sanz Inc., an award-winning architecture and planning firm. After a competitive contractor-selection process, Turner Construction — a nationally recognized healthcare builder — has been awarded the contract for construction. Both firms have previously completed a number of successful projects for Inova Health System.

Established in 1961, Inova Fairfax Hospital is a recognized leader in clinical care. It has been named one of “America’s Best Hospitals” for 14 consecutive years by U.S. News & World Report magazine and one of “America’s 50 Best Hospitals” four years in a row by independent healthcare-quality ratings firm HealthGrades, Inc. With 833 beds, Inova Fairfax Hospital is the largest hospital in Northern Virginia. It is Northern Virginia’s only Level I trauma center and serves as the hub for the region’s hospitals. The campus is home to the Inova Heart and Vascular Institute and Inova Fairfax Hospital for Children, the only children’s hospital in Northern Virginia.

Inova Health System is a not-for-profit healthcare system based in Northern Virginia that consists of hospitals and other health services, including emergency- and urgent-care centers, home care, nursing homes, mental health and blood donor services, and wellness classes. Governed by a voluntary board of community members, Inova’s mission is to improve the health of the diverse community it serves through excellence in patient care, education and research. Inova provides a healthy environment for its patients, families, visitors, staff and physicians by prohibiting tobacco use on its campuses.