Thu, Jan. 23

Dawn of a new era for Verde Valley Medical Center
Expansion project keeps VVMC on cutting edge of healthcare professionalism

The Inpatient entrance will eventually become VVMC’s main entry. Currently patients must continue to register for services by entering through the Outpatient area, seen in the background.

The Inpatient entrance will eventually become VVMC’s main entry. Currently patients must continue to register for services by entering through the Outpatient area, seen in the background.

The expansion project came about through a master facility plan that identified current healthcare services that are growing within Verde Valley Medical Center, and new healthcare services that are needed in the community.

The project had been in the planning phase since 2003, when the design process of the project began with Hospital Building and Equipment Corporation of St. Louis (HBE), the largest hospital design and build company in the country.

The project was approved by the Board of Directors in 2005, and a ceremonial ground-breaking in November 2006 kicked off the official start to construction, with phase one now completed.

Through the project, approximately 100,000 square feet have been added to VVMC's previous existing 250,000 square feet, and 45,000 square feet will be remodeled and renovated.

The project will meet a combination of current and future healthcare needs of the region.

Although adding new space is important, one of the main goals of the expansion project is improved way finding and less walking distance between related services.

Part of the plan is to reestablish the main patient entrance toward the center of the building so patients can enter and register at one main point of entry.

Another aspect of the project is to address immediate and unprecedented demand in patient visits to the Emergency Department, which has grown from treating 18,000 patients in 2003 to treating more than 24,000 patients in 2006.

The new ED will expand from 12 bays to 21 bays, and will include two drive-through entrances, a new triage area, on-site security office, and an X-ray room within the ED for quicker turnaround time for patient diagnostic services.

Through the expansion project, VVMC is changing to all private patient rooms within the hospital. According to an article in the American Institute of Architects' Guidelines for Design and Construction of Hospital and Health Care Facilities, private patient rooms reduce the risk of hospital-acquired infections as well as medication errors.

Two additions have been built at VVMC - the four-story east addition now houses the newly relocated Medical Imaging department on the first floor, complete with new equipment, private women's area and expanded services.

The Yavapai Unit, a 19-bed medical/surgical nursing unit with all private patient rooms is located on the second floor. The third floor of the east addition is currently empty, to be used as future needs arise.

Plans for the fourth floor are relocation of the Perinatal Services department, which will expand to allow for the addition of a new C-section suite, including operating and recovery rooms, located within the unit.

The two-story north addition is home to the brand new 19-bed Telemetry Unit. This is a step-down unit in which staff care for patients in need of close cardiac, or minimally invasive monitoring, as well as patients progressing from critical care to a lower acuity.

There now is one hallway connecting this unit to the ICU, allowing patients to be easily transitioned from one unit to the other without having to be transported through a public corridor.

Remodel and renovation of existing space in the current facility include the Inpatient and Outpatient lobbies, Patient Registration, Lab draw station, Gift Shop, Cardiopulmonary Services, corridor to the new east addition, patient waiting areas, Medical Library, Emergency department, Surgery registration, Joint Replacement Program, Pharmacy and some ancillary services.

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