HACKENSACK, N.J. — CBS2 got a behind-the-scenes look Tuesday at one of the largest hospital expansion projects in New Jersey history.
It transformed Hackensack University Medical Center into what they call the smartest hospital in the Garden State, Vanessa Murdock reported.
Walking into the new Helena Theurer Pavilion might feel like walking into the lobby of a fancy hotel, but it is no hotel. It’s a hospital, a SMART one.
“In every sense of the word,” said Robert Garrett, CEO of Hackensack Meridian Health. “For its technological abilities and because hospital in the nation built during COVID era.”
Lessons learned from COVID are embedded in the build.
“During the course of the pandemic, we realized that negative pressure was essential,” said Mark Sparta, president of Hackensack University Medical Center.
Negative pressure pulls potentially contaminated air out of the building. During COVID, Hackensack University Medical Center popped out windows and replaced them with plywood.
“Cut a hole and put what’s called a HEPA filter in,” Sparta said.
Now, all it takes it the flip of a switch to change air flow in some or part of the building.
“This is essentially Times Square of the Hackensack University Medical Center,” Sparta said.
From the lobby to ICU hospital president, Sparta led Murdock on a tour. They checked out the state-of-the-art sterilization space, prep and recovery.
There are no curtains there. Instead, doors that offer privacy, and 24 new operating rooms. Each boasts the space of an RV, but the ride of a Ferrari, according to Chief of Surgery Dr. Howard Ross.
“There are cameras built into many components of this operating room, including into the OR lights,” Ross said. “We can theoretically be educators to trainees around the world.”
Ross also shared that the aesthetic of the space will help the sick heal, as there are natural light floods in all patient rooms.
When asked what will be the most important part for patient care,” Chief Medical Officer Lisa Tank said, “I think the most important is going to be the patient room.”
Tank specified SMART rooms, each with a SMART TV that will display critical patient information.
“What is there day going to look like? What is there tests going to be? What are their medications?” Tank said.
It’s hard to forget that during the pandemic patients said goodbye to loved ones virtually. Now, communication can flow freely, always.
And, remember this, the nurse call system also controls the TV.
“We still have that, but the other thing we have is this tablet,” Tank said.
Each device is room specific. Patients can control lights, heat, the TV, order meals, and call the nurse.
The Helena Theurer Pavilion will welcome its first patient before the end of the year.
Executives hope this SMART hospital will lure patients from near and far.
The expansion project includes an intraoperative MRI, making Hackensack the first hospital in the state to have one. The total cost of the Pavilion is more than $700 million.
this article is originally published at cbs news.com