Published on March 28, 2013

St. Vincent's Clay gets closer to October Opening

By Sara Stevens, Intern - Clay Today

Standing in hard hats, goggles and vests, the new president of St. Vincent’s Medical Center Clay County explained how the $110 million hospital will use technology to enhance patient care and customer service.

“You expect safety and treatment. You should expect to be treated as a human being. Our hospital is designed for patient ease and we brought in the best hospital leaders to achieve the optimal goal of quality and comfort,” said Blain Claypool March 22 in a hard hat media tour. He said “safety, quality of care, and patient experience” will be at the heart of the facility set to open in October 2013 near the intersection of Branan Field Road and Blanding Boulevard.

The hospital’s first phase is projected to be completed October 1 and includes 64 beds with the capability to grow into a 250bed hospital in its second phase, which will be determined based on need and growth. The facility is expected to bring in approximately 300 jobs, an influx of capital to the local community and quick access to quality care needed in a growing part of Clay County.

“Clay County, especially Oakleaf, is desperately under bedded and with insufficient hospital representation in comparison to the rest of the state, even though it has 21 percent growth in Medicare users,” said St. Vincent’s system director of major construction, Barry Darnell. “We will provide innovative and top quality care from the first patient, on, we built the facility planning to grow with the demand from the community.”

The three-floor facility’s first floor will include the Emergency Department, operating rooms, chapel, and a 1,400 square foot educational center amongst other offices, while the second and third floors will house Intensive and Acute care beds, orthopedic beds, and an inpatient rehabilitation gym.

Claypool comes to Clay County after serving as CEO of Renown South Meadows Medical Center in Reno, Nev. for the past 22 years. While in Nevada, he helped create a patient experience that consistently earned high marks statewide for patient care.

“We looked at what the community needed, in places that are really developing like Oakleaf, and within Middleburg, we know that there is a critical need for both adult and pediatric outpatient capabilities in the emergency room,” Claypool said.

The facility, whose interior is still being framed in, will have a coffee shop, appointment check-in areas, a gift shop and a cafeteria for patients and their families to spend time together or wait for the next appointment or for the outcome of a surgery. High-tech kiosks will lower patient wait times.

“We have items like the electronic kiosks to help avoid long waits for an appointment, we [development team] have been working together for the past 25 years, we work off our collected experiences and are trying to base this from the patient perspective,” Darnell said.

With a desire to meet the needs of the community, St. Vincent’s will be a fully functioning hospital equipped for providing services such as cancer, cardiac and neurological care, general surgery, orthopedics, digestive health services, sleep medicine, urology, neurology, radiology, and emergency services.

“We’ve invested in higher technology such as the E-ICU beds which are beds within the ICU that are electronically monitoring our patients 24/7, feeding constant information to the physician. We have found that this reduces the patients stay, reduces physician error, and allows a better quality of stay for the patient,” said Ilyssa Trussel, head of marketing and communications at St. Vincent’s.

The layout of the building is unique in its ability to grow outward and upwards, with a large parking lot that branches out from the different wings of the hospital.

“Entry points are critical, the hospital needs to be intuitive and easy to access, the ER needs a large canopy so that in the critical time it is easy to find, and has the ability to grow with the demand when the time comes,” said David Prusha of HKS architects.

St. Vincent’s expects to serve whole of Clay County, “we are a straight shot from Oakleaf, Orange Park, Fleming Island, Middleburg, and with the opening of the beltway right next to our facility, Green Cove and St. Johns will have easy access and quick delivery to our services,” said Claypool.

“St. Vincent’s in this location will keep people from having to drive themselves and wait one and a half hours for minor house injuries that need attention. Like I had to when I hurt a finger in an accident with a bike. I had to ride with my finger held up, wrapped in a make – shift bandage, in the middle of horrible traffic to go to an emergency center and continue to wait until it was my turn,” Claypool said.

View the article online.