A new tower dedicated to women’s and oncology services opened to patients at UCHealth Memorial Hospital North on Monday, Feb. 25.
The hospital also expanded its emergency department last fall, adding eight additional exam rooms, two new trauma suites and a CT scanner. Operating rooms increased from six to eight, with space to add two more if needed.
Capacity challenges and a growing demand for services necessitated the $129 million expansion, along with anticipated continued growth in northern El Paso County.
“Memorial Hospital North opened as a small community hospital in April 2007 and has since transformed into a full-service hospital,” said Tamera Dunseth Rosenbaum, Memorial’s chief nursing officer and the administrator who oversaw the expansion. “We are proud to serve the community by bringing advanced care closer to home for people across the region.”
This expansion project follows other major investments on the campus in recent years, including a cardiac catheterization lab and a radiation oncology building. And this spring, Children’s Hospital Colorado also will open a full-service pediatric hospital on the 88-acre campus.
The top two floors in the new three-story tower opening Feb. 25 are dedicated solely to women’s services – doubling the size previously available at the hospital. In addition to 40 inpatient beds for labor and delivery and postpartum care, the space also includes a nursery, an obstetrical emergency department, a stabilization space for infants that might need to be transferred to the NICU at the new Children’s Hospital, a breast milk bank and two C-section suites.
“The number of babies born at the hospital has increased 21 percent from 2013 to 2018, and that growth in birth numbers year over year is reflective of the population growth in the region,” said Amber Rossman, director of the Memorial Hospital North Birth Center. “We are excited here at UCHealth to be growing in size and innovation to make sure the best services are available to our patients.”
Patient experience and satisfaction was a priority when designing rooms. Beds are equipped with USB outlets, as are couches for visitors that turn into beds. Patient beds also can be electronically expanded to accommodate the needs and comfort of taller patients. And new moms also will be given Apple iPads, which they can use to download their own apps or to access medical records, such as lab results. Patient education videos – such as post-partum depression screenings or information on infant care – also will be on the iPads. In addition, nursing staff on the units also will wear “trackers” that will automatically turn patient call lights off when the nurse enters a patient room. The trackers also are equipped with buttons to enable nurses to quickly summon additional help
The first floor of the new tower will house an oncology/hematology clinic, space for oncology clinical research and outpatient infusion services. Also on the first floor is an outpatient pharmacy that will include an automated kiosk that will allow for after-hours medication pickup,