Doors open soon at new $360 million hospital with all-private rooms

When the doors to the new Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital open March 15, patients, their families and the community will find a health care experience unlike any other, offering the latest in medicine, technology and patient safety, integrated with wellness and prevention programs all under one roof.

The new $360 million hospital with all-private rooms - attached to the existing Henry Ford Medical Center-West Bloomfield - will provide convenient care close to home for thousands of Oakland Country residents. It is the first new hospital Henry Ford Health System - one of the country's largest health care systems - has built since its flagship hospital in Detroit opened in 1915. This represents the seventh hospital in Henry Ford's regional hospital network.

"Creating a medical campus to best serve the needs of the rapidly growing population of western Oakland County has been a part of our long-range vision since opening the Henry Ford medical center in West Bloomfield in 1975. We're proud to now offer a full-service hospital that provides the community with the kind of care experience that they have told us they want," says Nancy Schlichting, president and chief executive officer, Henry Ford Health System.

The 730,000-square-foot hospital will be staffed by 2,300 medical professionals, including 500 primary care physicians and specialists, once complete. In all, the opening of Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital will create 1,200 new jobs in Michigan.

"We have completely changed the hospital paradigm by combining the best in clinical care with the most innovative, comprehensive wellness philosophy integrated into every aspect of patient care," says Gerard van Grinsven, president and CEO of Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital. "We hope to revolutionize health care."

Modeled after a northern Michigan lodge, the hospital features Michigan-quarried fieldstone, river rock, and skylights in its three-story grand atrium, as well as a place for multi-denominational reflection.

Beyond its aesthetically pleasing and relaxing design, the entire hospital was first and foremost built with safety in mind.

"At Henry Ford, safety trumps all," says Christine Zambricki, COO and chief nursing officer at Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital. "With this new hospital, we have an opportunity to make this experience not only meaningful, compassionate and healing, but most importantly safe for our patients and their families."

Studies have found that private rooms reduce the spread of infection, as does the hospital's air filtration system. And with nurses' work alcoves outside patients' rooms, and mobile bedside work stations, health care teams can remain close to the patient, reducing risk of injury and medical errors.

To ensure patients' and families' stay at the new hospital is as comfortable as possible, Henry Ford asked more than 2,000 people - medical staff, patients, families and community members - to tour prototype patient rooms to test configurations, colors, fixtures, finishes, furniture and equipment.

Based on their extensive feedback, Henry Ford designed the private patient rooms now at Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital, as well those at the recently opened $35 million Henry Ford Hospital expansion in Detroit. Of the 300 beds at Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital, 191 will open March 15. The remaining beds will open in 2011.

Each room includes a view of the pond and wooded area surrounding the facility.

Some other special features of the patient rooms are:

  • A quieter stay with fewer interruptions: When medically possible, patients will not be disturbed by staff from 10:30 p.m. to 5:30 a.m. to check vitals, draw blood or administer medication. Plus, the patient rooms do not share common walls or ceilings, eliminating noise from neighboring rooms and reducing hallway noise.
  • Female-only floor: A 16-bed inpatient unit has been designated for female patients. Health care teams will study those on the female-only inpatient unit to evaluate if they have fewer medical complications, such as infection, blood clots or pneumonia, compared to women staying on mixed gender units.
  • Smart technology: Patient bedrooms have wireless Internet access, a flat screen TV with on-demand programming, remote-controlled window treatments, patient-controlled thermostat and multiple lighting options.
  • Space for patient families: All patient bedrooms include a sleeper sofa and a reclining chair, offering family members comfortable space to stay overnight. For those who need to stay for extended periods of time, the hospital offers family rooms on each floor, complete with beds, tables and kitchen facilities.

In addition, van Grinsven explains that the new hospital will be the first to introduce patients to food menus that will contribute to the healing process, as well as integrated wellness programs designed to promote restoring, maintaining and improving health status.

Some of the unique features include:

  • Hospital food that tastes good: Using produce from Michigan organic farms, renowned local chef Matt Prentice has worked for two years to develop recipes for healthy, tasty food for patients and their families, employees and the community to serve at Henry's, the hospital café. Patients can order healthy meals of their choice any time of day, which reduces food waste and is no additional cost. Plans are even under way for an on-site greenhouse that will supply fresh produce for the café.
  • A culinary school: Schoolcraft College has partnered with Henry Ford to create the first culinary learning institute in the world for health care.
  • Vita: Patients and the public have the opportunity to take part in acupuncture, therapeutic message, yoga and relaxation classes and more at Vita, the hospital's wellness center.
  • Main Street shopping: With the look of a Northern Michigan town, the hospital's retail area features stores focused on wellness, including sleep, pregnancy and healthy cooking and lifestyles.

"Studies have shown that more and more patients also are seeking out integrative medicine, but many don't tell their doctor they're doing it. That's why we've built a bridge between integrative and traditional medicine, to offer our patients and the community the full spectrum of therapeutic options," says Bruce Muma, M.D., chief medical officer for the new hospital. "Each therapy offered at Vita - both traditional and integrative - has been carefully evaluated by a scientific advisory panel to ensure its safety and effectiveness."

Like all of Henry Ford's hospitals, innovative medical care is at the heart of Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital. It offers full-service medical and surgical services in orthopedics, obstetrics and gynecology, urology, neurosurgery and back surgery, pediatric urology, cardiovascular, women's health, gastroenterology, ear, nose and throat, cancer and emergency care.

Patients will have access to the latest in technology, including robotic surgery for prostate cancer, the most accurate non-invasive treatment for cancer called Novalis Tx - the only one in the country - and imaging technology that includes MRI, PET and CT scanning for real-time visualization of the patient's condition.

Some of the hospital's other special clinical care features are:

  • Private ER exam rooms: The expanded emergency department includes 30 private exam rooms, about half of which have a private bathroom. The ER bays were designed to offer auditory and visual privacy for patients and their families.
  • One-stop care for seniors: The Senior Center at the Neuroscience Institute offers older adults the opportunity to meet with physicians from up to nine clinical specialties - all during one appointment - to help rapidly diagnose and create a treatment plan for some of the most common and complicated disorders that affect the elderly, including cognitive, memory, balance and pain issues. This approach allows for a diagnosis to occur within a matter of days, instead of weeks.
  • Nurse coordinators for cancer patients: Patients seeking cancer care will work directly with nurse coordinators who will help schedule appointments, lab work and tests, as well as educate patients and answer their questions.
  • Health coaches: Health coaches also will be available at the wellness center, and have been trained to create an integrated plan for personal nutrition, exercise and overall health improvement for patients.
  • Mother and baby care: The family-focused labor and delivery suites include hydrotherapy tubs, a special care nursery that provides a peaceful transition for premature infants, and an eight-bed pediatric unit.
  • Early detection of heart disease: Designed for early and rapid detection, the Cardiac Health Center includes cardiac diagnostic testing and a dedicated imaging center.

Additionally, Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital is partnering with community physicians to ensure the best delivery of care to patients.

"By embracing the concept of team medicine, Henry Ford Medical Group physicians and local private practice physicians have a unique opportunity to work together to provide high quality, safe, compassionate care," says Mark Rosenblum, M.D., vice president for clinical programs at Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital.

Henry Ford designed the hospital to keep the environment healthy too, and is seeking Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. It features a rooftop garden, energy-efficient heating and cooling systems, as well as high-efficiency equipment and window systems. Plus, a variety of woodlands and wetlands were preserved to reduce chemical and irrigation needs, and 3,000 trees have been planted on the property. There also are plans to create walking and biking trails in the wooded area surrounding the hospital.

Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital was designed by Albert Kahn Associates, Inc. and constructed by Turner Construction Company. The hospital was funded through operational income, bonds and philanthropy.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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