Article written

  • on 30.11.2010
  • at 10:00 PM
  • by admin

New tower at Riley has a practical side [The Indianapolis Star]

Nov30

Dec. 01When staff members tour the new Simon Family Tower at Riley Hospital for Children, they often joke that the patients won’t want to go home now.
The 10-story hospital addition features private rooms, each with a fridge, wireless access, a DVD player, a Wii and two TV sets one for the parents and one for the child.
Such bells and whistles aside, the new tower also will help maximize bed space and staff efficiency when the first three floors, with 120 rooms, open Jan. 27.
Work on the $475 million tower began in the summer of 2006. The following November, mall executive David Simon and his wife, Jackie, donated $40 million to the project.
Currently, using all the beds in the semiprivate rooms can prove a nightmare, staffers say. Switching to private rooms will actually increase the number of patients who can be served.
Children of opposite sexes cannot room together. Patients with certain conditions cannot share a room with those with infectious conditions. In the winter, when infectious respiratory diseases rage, many of the semi-private rooms become de facto private rooms.
So it’s not unusual to see a teen rooming with a much younger child.
"Sometimes we have to do what we have to do to make sure that patients can come into the hospital," said Jodie Johnston, day-shift coordinator on the transplant unit. "The ultimate goal is to treat everyone who comes to our door."
Moving to all private rooms also will help ensure that patients do not have to switch rooms multiple times, another common occurrence, said Christin Dawson, project coordinator for Riley.
In addition, the new tower will group patients with similar conditions together, creating distinct pediatric surgical and pulmonary units, for example. Such a design will consolidate a physician’s patients; now doctors may have to visit multiple floors.
Families may be oblivious to such advantages. They will, however, notice other amenities, such as the family lounge on each floor and glassed-in stairwells to encourage staff and visitors to exercise.
Each unit bears a different motif to help orient parents and children. The motifs follow a "world around Riley" theme savannah, mountains, beaches.
"If they know that my kid is in ‘Oceans’ and we’re standing in the middle of ‘Forests,’ then we’re on the wrong floor," Dawson said.
While the tower will not be complete until 2013, hospital officials plan to open the lobby area in 2011 and move another group of patients over in 2012.
Part of the 675,000-square-foot tower is already open. The pharmacy moved to a space six times the size of its old home in September, and a new MRI has been working since August.
The tower, the first inpatient expansion at Riley since 1986, will free up space in the old building, which hospital staff still haven’t decided how to use.
"It’s an opportunity for new programming we haven’t had the space for," said Jennifer Harley, Riley’s clinical director of nursing, who is helping to prepare the new tower. "This is an opportunity to see what is needed and having the physical space to accommodate it."
To see more of The Indianapolis Star or to subscribe to the newspaper, go to http://www.indystar.com/.
Copyright (c) 2010, The Indianapolis Star
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.
For more information about the content services offered by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services (MCT), visit www.mctinfoservices.com, e-mail [email protected], or call 866-280-5210 (outside the United States, call +1 312-222-4544)

subscribe to comments RSS

Comments are closed