Busy Northwest Medical Center to add 4 new operating rooms

$50 million project to modernize hospital should take two years
2012-08-10T00:00:00Z 2012-08-10T16:49:52Z Busy Northwest Medical Center to add 4 new operating roomsStephanie Innes Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
August 10, 2012 12:00 am  • 

Increasing patient volume at Northwest Medical Center is the reason behind a $50 million construction project that will begin at the hospital this winter.

The for-profit hospital, which performs about 20,000 surgeries per year, says it is having difficulty meeting demand with 12 operating rooms.

The expansion will bring the main hospital's operating room total to 16 and create a new surgical wing. The new wing will be extended from the current building out to the existing surgery parking area.

It is the biggest construction project the hospital has undertaken since a $14 million improvement project that began in 2008 and included a face-lift of the emergency room plus two new CT scanners and a new 3-Tesla MRI machine.

Construction on the operating room expansion should be complete within two years, said Kevin Stockton, the hospital's chief executive officer. The total number of operating rooms at the hospital complex will be 20, when four operating rooms at the separate on-site women's center are included.

Stockton said the hospital's robotic and bariatric surgery programs, as well as its joint and spine center, are fueling more patient visits at the hospital. The hospital's 30-minute emergency-room waiting-time pledge has also brought more people to the medical center, he said.

All the new operating rooms will be outfitted as minimally invasive operating room suites to meet growing demand. All will be expanded from the existing 400 square feet to an average 550 square feet to allow for more technology, such as the da Vinci robots that the hospital often uses for surgeries.

Along with the operating room expansion project, the hospital will renovate one of its cardiac catheterization labs.

"It is going to make a tremendous difference. When you look at the way health care is going and the use of technology … this is really lining us up for what is coming down the pike," Stockton said.

The project will be funded with a combination of debt and equity reinvesting, he said.

Hospital officials say service will not be disrupted during the expansion.

Contact reporter Stephanie Innes at sinnes@azstarnet.com or 573-4134.

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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