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Managed Care Partners - One massive undertaking

Managed Care Spring 2012

One massive undertaking

Date: April 1, 2012

The Sheikh Zayed Tower, left, and The Charlotte R. Bloomberg Children’s Center create an unprecedented front door for The Johns Hopkins Hospital.
The Sheikh Zayed Tower, left, and The Charlotte R. Bloomberg Children’s Center create an unprecedented front door for The Johns Hopkins Hospital.

One of the largest single-phase hospital construction projects in the country, the $1.1 billion re-design of The Johns Hopkins Hospital concludes this spring. Staff have been moving to new offices; all patient units will be fully operational by the end of May.

The “new” hospital, covering 1.6 million gross square feet, features two 12-story towers—the Sheikh Zayed Tower for adult cardiovascular and critical care and The Charlotte R. Bloomberg Children’s Center. Together, they comprise 560 private rooms, 355 for adult inpatients and 205 for children, including a 45-bed neonatal intensive care unit and a 40-bed pediatric ICU. The adult tower includes 96 ICU rooms and 35 obstetrics rooms. Also included are 33 expansive operating rooms that suspend all equipment, including high-definition cameras, from the ceiling, freeing up floor space to allow staff to move around easily. The adult Emergency Department tripled in size and offers 67 private patient exam and observation rooms, six high-tech trauma rooms shared with the pediatric ED, and an incorporated radiology suite.

“Instantaneously, the facilities catch up to the excellence of our staff, our programs and our medical technology,” says Johns Hopkins Hospital President Ronald R. Peterson. The buildings are designed to be flexible, with several “interventional” rooms that can be modified or repurposed, even turned into an operating room, as technology emerges.

Anchoring the towers is a shared entrance for both towers and the adult and pediatric EDs with an overhead canopy, heated walkway and valet parking. Strung along the second floor, the new buildings’ “main street,” are a food court, gift and flower shops, nondenominational chapel and pharmacy.

The entire design promotes patient- and family-centered care in a quiet, healing setting. Gone is overhead paging, replaced by a system that triages calls directly to individual nurses’ or physicians’ mobile phones. New work alcoves between patient rooms keep caregivers close by. Sound-minimizing panels have been installed on patient care units, including rubber flooring in the neonatal intensive care unit. Landscaped gardens and artwork abound.

The children’s tower offers sleep sofas in every room, televisions that can access the Internet, on-demand dining allowing most patients and their family members the ability to order “room service” when they’re hungry, a family resource library with children’s books, playrooms on each unit, an outdoor children’s garden, a television studio allowing children to produce their own shows, and an indoor two-level play area where patients can hula hoop, play basketball or do arts and crafts.

The adult rooms also have sleep sofas for overnight visitors, Internet-ready TVs and on-demand dining. Other amenities for families include seating areas on every floor, and lounges with microwaves, vending and coffee machines.

“Studies show that hospitals that include families in the care of their loved ones achieve better outcomes for their patients,” says Edward Chambers, executive administrator for the New Clinical Building Transition Team and administrator for the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center. “When families feel informed and empowered, they feel more confident and better prepared to care for their loved one during and after the hospital stay.”

The design also embraces environmental features like natural light, three green roofs, two cogeneration units to help power the campus, and a driveway that filters rainwater. Calming public areas make use of limestone, marble, and wood from sustainable forests.

“You just get this sense when you come into this building that it’s going to be a healing place,” says Johns Hopkins Medicine Dean/CEO Edward Miller. “Patients and families are going to feel good when they come here.”

For more information about the new buildings or to see photo and videos, visit

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