A new hospital opening Sept. 18 in Gilbert will offer numerous firsts for the East Valley, including a spa to help moms-to-be relax while in labor.
Banner Gateway Medical Center at U.S. 60 and Higley Road will replace Banner Mesa Medical Center at Brown Road and Country Club Drive. The $207 million hospital will focus on obstetrics, pediatrics, general surgery, emergency services and other services according to community need. It will open with 176 private rooms, eight operating suites and a 37-bed emergency department.
“I expect Banner Gateway to really become known for our women’s programs and our surgical services program, as well as emergency services,” said Becky Kuhn, CEO of Banner Gateway and Banner Mesa. “Banner Gateway truly is a next-generation facility where there is an evidence-based environment proven to improve patient outcomes, safety and healing.”
Banner Gateway will help meet the “great need” for more hospitals in the East Valley, said Adda Alexander, executive vice president of the Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association.
“Banner Gateway Medical Center will be a technologically advanced hospital designed to cater to the needs of the Gilbert community,” she said.
INSIDE AND OUT
From U.S. 60, Banner Gateway resembles a typical hospital, but a closer look reveals big differences in design.
Numerous glass panels, outdoor water features and a canyon design are intended to create an environment that blends the indoors and the outdoors, said Susan Gordon, Banner Gateway/Banner Mesa spokeswoman.
“The size of the windows correlates with the improved healing of patients, so we have a lot of windows in connection with the outdoors,” Kuhn said.
Quiet will be emphasized throughout the hospital with sound-absorbent ceiling tiles, and nurses will wear voice-activated internal telephones on their lapels for communication without overhead announcements.
“We will have the staff positioned close to the patients’ bedsides so that you don’t have a collection of staff in an area where it creates a lot of noise,” Kuhn said.
Patient rooms are larger than normal, with more room for family and increased entertainment options, as well as Internet ports.
The spa room in the women’s area — which includes a large tub with a ceiling-mounted faucet — is expected to be a popular feature and one few women will expect when they come to the hospital to have their babies, Gordon said.
“The spa room is for women who are in active labor for whom being in a water environment makes the labor far more comfortable and helps to speed the entire process,” Kuhn said.
No deliveries will take place in the water.
EAST VALLEY FIRSTS
Banner Gateway will be the first hospital in the East Valley where all equipment in every operating room will be suspended from the ceiling, said Penny Boone, director of perioperative services at Banner Gateway and Banner Mesa.
“It makes it very efficient and a much safer place because in our old operating rooms, you’re always tripping over cords and there’s equipment sitting around everywhere,” she said. “It’s a lot of work for a nurse to get through that.”
The surgery department will include three different, high-definition video systems for use during surgery, and high-tech imaging in lieu of Xrays, Boone said.
“If an orthopedic surgeon is fixing a broken bone, the picture of that broken bone ... will be up there on that screen in front of them, so as they work, they have that to reference,” she said. “In the old days, they would go work at the operation and then they would walk across the room, go to the view box where the X-ray was hanging, look at it and then come back, back and forth like that.” Banner Gateway also will be the first Banner hospital in the East Valley to have fully electronic medical records. “The electronic systems ... help eliminate human error,” Boone said.
When Banner Gateway opens, no more patient care will take place at Banner Mesa.
But Banner Health has yet to decide what will be done with that property, Gordon said.
Banner Mesa includes 258 acute care beds and 62 behavioral health and rehabilitation beds.
“There are a couple of small programs that are staying there, but they are not patientcare programs,” she said. ”We won’t be doing any medical care here. There’s just some offices that are going to stay there until the decision is made as to what they’re going to do with the property.”
The hospital may be used as office space, but that is just one of many options Banner Health is considering, Gordon said.
A decision should be made by the end of the year, she said.