By KERRY SMITH, EDITOR, ST. LOUIS CONSTRUCTION NEWS AND REVIEW MAGAZINE
Of the $550 million total budget for building and equipping the future SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital, $101 million is allocated to medical technology that will equip all facets of the operation and provide the latest means of patient care.
Donald Wojtkowski, executive director of design and construction for the SLUH Medical Campus Renewal Project that’s rising from the earth along Grand Boulevard in Midtown, says medical technology investments in the brand-new hospital include not only clinical IT but also IT that will connect and power all business functions throughout the hospital and adjacent ambulatory care center.
“Relative to overall clinical technology, we’re equipping 16 operating rooms, five cardiac interventional rooms, seven special procedure rooms, seven CTs, three MRIs, three nuclear medicine suites and eight endoscopy suites,” Wojkowski said. “Approximately $12 million in IT equipment is going in that’s specific to computerized medical records. The IT elements of this – every piece of clinical equipment in the new facility and most of the hospital’s medical devices – will link with its IT networks so we can capture data and assist nurses with all of that information right at their fingertips.”
IMEG is providing mechanical-electrical-plumbing, fire protection and technology design for the new medical center, which will replace the existing, adjacent SLU Hospital. Alberici Constructors Inc. is the project’s construction manager. The Lawrence Group is architect of record, in partnership with planning firms HGA and FZA.
The project has been designed solely with 3D modeling since the beginning, years ago, when plans were first being etched for the future hospital.
“That’s the most amazing thing in my mind with regard to this whole project,” said Wojtkowski. “We began our commitment to building information management 12 years ago when we designed (SSM Health) St. Clare Hospital in Fenton,” he said. “Even then, we were committed to BIM and to lean construction delivery. It was a bit awkward because we were really pioneering things back then. We had a great team, we got it done and we learned a lot. Today, when you’re walking through this construction project, you don’t see anyone looking at blueprints anymore…they’re holding up their iPads…for a project of this magnitude not to have any trailers filled with blueprints, it’s truly a testament to how far technology has come.”
Substantial completion of the new hospital is on track for May 2020, according to Wojtkowski, at which time the facility will be turned over to its owners to begin the operational and staffing transition from old hospital to new. Sept. 1, 2010 is the date when the first patients will move into the new space.