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Scripps Prebys Cardiovascular Institute nearly complete

The innovative institute by Scripps Health will be open for patients early next year.

Construction on the Scripps Prebys Cardiovascular Institute, which began in June 2011, is nearing completion. The facility, being developed by Scripps Health, is expected to be open for patient care by spring of 2015.

The seven-story, 383,000-square-foot building was designed by HOK Architects. Jacobs Engineering Group is serving as the construction manager, and McCarthy Building Cos. is the general contractor.

“Right now, the building is 95 percent complete,” said McCarthy Project Director Steve Van Dyke. “We’re pushing to try to be done by the end of September, which would be ahead of the contract date of Nov. 14. We’re doing the final underground tie-ins, sewer, storm drain, hardscape, landscaping, parking areas … We’re going through the punch list, getting ready to turn the building over to Scripps.”

The facility is scheduled to open to patients March 8, 2015.

The Scripps Prebys Cardiovascular Institute is located on the campus of Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla. It is part of a 25-year plan to update the Scripps Memorial campus.

The cardiovascular institute will have 108 inpatient beds in private rooms and 60 intensive care unit beds, four state-of-the-art operating rooms, two hybrid operating rooms, four catheterization labs connected to research labs and a center for graduate medical education. The facility will also include a new central energy plant, a sterile processing department and 127 surface parking spaces. It will also leave space for future expansion of the emergency department.

The building is the first step in a strategy to replace the existing hospital with new facilities that meet earthquake safety mandates.

“We’re required to replace our pre-1973 hospital beds by 2030, and we’re in the first phase of a multiphase project to do that,” said Bruce Rainey, vice president of facilities design and construction for Scripps Health. “Secondarily is the consolidation of cardiology services within the organization.”

While emergency cardiac services will still be offered at other Scripps hospitals, the new institute will be the primary facility for scheduled cardiovascular services throughout the Scripps system, Rainey said. It will also integrate cardiac programs at Kaiser Permanente, and a Kaiser physician will be located within the building, he added.

To complement the design of the existing campus, four primary materials were used in the construction: brick, glass, steel and metal panels. The curved glass curtainwall on the southeast side allows natural light into patient floors.

“The building design, the reason it’s curved, it’s not for aesthetics -- although that may be pleasing to the eye -- it was really designed because that creates a close relationship between patient rooms and the rooms that clinicians need to go to for services, supplies and treatment of the patient,” Rainey said. “We did a study on paths and travel, and reducing the amount of distance that the nurse will have to walk to provide care.”

Scripps designed the new cardiovascular facility with consideration not only for staff efficiencies, but also for patient and family comfort, safety, and the future of wireless health care.

Each private room has abundant natural light, designated family spaces and a sleeper for family members. Other features include patient lift systems in every room; care units designed with satellite nurse stations so that a nurse is never more than 60 feet away from a patient’s bed; bathroom doors on the same wall as the bed with a grab bar for the path of travel; antimicrobial finishes; and hand-washing sinks at the entrance to each unit and room. Special areas between patient spaces and staff spaces allow staff and family members to have private conversations.

The Scripps Prebys Cardiovascular Institute was named after Conrad Prebys, a local philanthropist and real estate developer who donated $45 million toward the project’s development. The balance of the $456 million facility is being financed through operating revenue, loans and donations.

-Klam is a San Diego-based freelance writer.

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