A better patient experience and a commitment to community health needs are top priorities for us. That’s why you’ll notice some changes taking place throughout our system.
One of the most significant of these developments is the rollout of more single-occupancy, flexible-use patient rooms at hospitals across our system.
This summer, we began work on a two-story addition at Southdale Hospital that will add 52 single-occupancy patient rooms and approximately 38,000 square feet of space to the building. The new floors will be built above the two-story Carl N. Platou Emergency Center on the north side of the facility, facing Highway 62.
Work is expected to be complete in 2022, but the construction is being conducted in phases to minimize the disruption to patients and families. All Southdale Hospital departments and services will remain open throughout the duration of project.
The new single-occupancy rooms at Southdale will allow patients and families to heal in greater privacy and comfort while decreasing the potential for the spread of disease. The rooms are also designed to be flexible and can be reconfigured for a variety of medical/surgical, intermediate, or intensive care uses. Having a ready supply of adaptable patient rooms means our hospital will be better equipped in the future to help our community handle challenges like the COVID-19 pandemic.
Southdale Hospital isn’t the only hospital in our system converting more rooms to single-occupancy spaces. A project is also underway at University of Minnesota Medical Center.
“COVID-19 has made it clear that health systems must be able to adapt to address evolving public health needs,” said Mandy Souba, Vice President of our Health Transformation Center. “At the same time, we’re mindful of consumer preferences for how they want to receive care and where. As a system, we’re thinking through this, asking ourselves what changes we need to make and where we need to invest to ensure we are exceeding consumer expectations while serving our community.”
To that end, we are also expanding our digital and virtual care offerings so that patients can meet with care providers and even receive a diagnosis from the convenience of their homes. Already this year, thousands of people have used Oncare.org, our 24/7 online clinic, to get care.
Our growing virtual services will help us embrace changes brought by COVID-19 and give us the flexibility to evolve with and for our patients. This year, we will also integrate multiple record-keeping systems onto a single platform, which will dramatically improve and simplify our patients’ experience through tools like MyChart.
We are taking care not to leave anyone behind in our shift to virtual care. Our health system is working closely with community organizations and providers to ensure that lack of access to adequate technology does not become a barrier to care. We are quickly finding ways to ensure virtual care, when appropriate, is accessible for all. This includes working with the Catholic Charities Opportunity Center to create virtual care hubs for remote mental health and addiction therapy, while expanding services at our Health Commons facilities and elsewhere.
“We are introducing a new model of care, grounded in our patients’ needs and experiences,” said Souba. “Our vision is to make care more patient-centered, simpler, more affordable, and more accessible to all.”