Shovel Begin New 'Digs' for Porter Health

Written by ryan. Posted in Uncategorized

Published on August 31, 2010 with No Comments

Over the next several years the unincorporated Liberty Township site will be transformed into a 430,000 sq. ft. hospital offering a full range of medical and surgical services. Designed to be exceptionally “user-friendly,” the six-story, brick and glass structure will feature 225 private inpatient rooms and 36 outpatient rooms.

Porter Health CEO Jonathan Nalli said the facility as 100 percent designed so that staff can care for patients more efficiently and services will be expedited. As an entirely new facility, Porter will have distinct advantages over other area hospitals.

“Upon entering the 15,000 sq. ft. lobby, for example,” Nalli explains, “one will find everything needed for registration. A bank of elevators there will take guests directly to the designated treatment area, and all equipment necessary for that treatment will be located there. Emergency rooms will have all needed testing labs and equipment nearby.”

The hospital will retain 1,500 full-time staff positions, and approximately 126 new jobs will be created by the end of 2012. Nalli estimates the construction jobs will number about 600 over a two-year period with an expected payroll between $60 and $65 million dollars.

About six months ago, Porter implemented best practice medicine that focuses on the patients and their needs. If patients can be involved in their care process, they are. Each step of the process is clearly explained to them. Staff makes rounds hourly, inquiring if anything is needed and indicating that they will be back in an hour to check on the patient. This gives the patient some measure of control, which lowers fear and stress. According to Nalli, evidence indicates that communicating with patients clearly and frequently about how and when they will be cared for results in “lower call lights, fewer falls and quicker recoveries.”

Additionally, the completed hospital will require 126 new staff members, including facility engineers and environmental services and medical personnel. Nalli notes that the Intensive Care Unit, for example, will increase from 21 beds to 32, resulting in an obvious need for increased highly trained and experienced staff to monitor and provide around-the-clock care for 11 additional patients.

And, Porter’s goal of providing the best possible service to all of Porter County does not stop at the doors of the new facility. In addition to the Liberty Township project, they will build a large clinic at an undetermined site along U.S. 30 to serve the southern portion of the county. In the past six months, primary care doctors have been recruited for the site, which is projected to be up and running in three years. The clinic will be comparable to Porter Health’s current Portage facility, offering an emergency room and ancillary services, such as MRI, ultra-sound, and CAT scan. Expansion is slated for the health system’s current Chesterton site.

Nalli also looks forward to collaborating with St. Andrews LLC, developers of the property adjacent to the hospital site in creating a 200-acre medical campus that will serve all of Northwest Indiana. Along with a senior living campus, the yet-to-be-approved St. Andrews tract is intended to provide varied services for the hospital, its staff, patients, and visitors.

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