Having operated its current facility since the early 1970s, the University of Connecticut Dempsey Hospital was faced with an out-of-date building with undersized rooms, inefficient mechanical systems, small floor plates, and a lack of staff collaboration spaces.

Rather than invest in expensive mechanical updates that would still leave it with an undesirable footprint and inefficient rooms, Thomas Trutter, associate vice president of campus planning, design, and construction at UConn Health, says the provider decided to seek a combination of state and non-state funds to construct a new inpatient tower.

The 320,150-square-foot building, which opened this past May and was designed by SBA|HKS, accommodates 169 med/surg beds, 12 ORs, and a 36-bay emergency department. The private patient rooms are sized to accommodate family members as well as the large groups of staff members on rounds, while new staff teaming rooms are located on the end of each floor along with staff respite areas with windows.

Additionally, state-of-the-art technology is incorporated into the ORs, including video cameras to live-stream procedures to academic classrooms. Smart beds in the inpatient rooms allow patients to control their room environment while also alerting the staff when patients get out of bed.

Anne DiNardo is senior editor of Healthcare Design. She can be reached at anne.dinardo@emeraldexpo.com.

For more on academic medical centers, check out:

"Trend Report: Academic Medical Centers"

"Class Act: University Of Minnesota Health Clinics And Surgery Center"

"Class Act: University of California San Diego Health System Outpatient Pavilion"