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New Sharp Memorial Hospital Features All Private Patient Rooms, Expanded Emergency and Trauma Services and Family Waiting Areas

High-tech facility designed to meet critical needs of patients, families and staff

SAN DIEGO, Jan. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Sharp Memorial Hospital, the flagship facility of San Diego County's most comprehensive health care delivery system, has completed a multi-tiered expansion to become the premier referral care center and first-of-its-kind facility in the region. The new 315,000-square-foot, 334-bed structure, named the Stephen Birch Healthcare Center, is also the first hospital in San Diego to open since 1993.




"San Diego's hospital of the future is here," said Dan Gross, Executive Vice President of Hospital Operations for Sharp HealthCare, at the facility's dedication ceremony. "This is the most important health care project to be completed in San Diego in many years, and it represents Sharp HealthCare's continued commitment to provide our patients and families not just what they need and expect but what they really want and deserve."

This commitment to patient-focused care is readily seen in the seven-story, $194 million project's patient rooms, all of which are private to enhance patient comfort, ease of care and infection control. Each room is large enough to feature a three-zoned layout giving caregivers, the patient and visitors their own spaces, including a comfortable pull-out sofa where a loved one can spend the night. Rooms also include a private bathroom and flat-screen TV. These features are provided at no additional cost.

Recognizing the importance of family involvement in the healing process, efforts have been made to accommodate their time spent in the new hospital as well. Twelve family support spaces, including spacious waiting areas or lounges, are located on each floor so loved ones can be closer to patients. The family lounges include comfortable home-like seating, private consultation rooms, computer terminals, free wireless Internet connection, vending machines and a concierge desk stocked with medical reference materials.

Gone are the cold, drab and harsh surroundings often associated with a hospital; instead the new facility incorporates the outside world. Large windows allow natural light to stream into the hospital; soft, warm colors are used on walls, floors and furnishings; and more than 700 pieces of artwork based on nature adorn patient rooms and hospital common areas. In addition, a jade garden allows family members and ambulatory patients easy access to the outdoors without having to leave the hospital grounds.

"Many hours of thought and collaboration with staff have gone into the design of this artful, new hospital to create an environment devoted to healing," said Gross. "In addition to addressing aesthetics and patient comfort, we wanted to make sure we incorporated the very best safety features available, taking advantage of this fresh construction to do so."

Among the numerous safety features built into the new facility are:

  • Strong anti-infection measures, including superior air filtration, antimicrobial coating on all ductwork, and blinds inlaid in glass throughout the hospital's intensive care units
  • Hand washing stations at the door of every patient room
  • Close proximity of patient beds to bathroom, with sliding door for wider access, to prevent fall accidents
  • Dedicated transport elevators to separate the public from patient and service needs
  • Direct line-of-sight into ICU rooms from nursing stations

The facility will improve emergency services in San Diego with a new Emergency and Trauma Center, the largest in the county and triple its previous size. Featuring 46 emergency/trauma beds, the new center is designed for highly efficient assessment, diagnosis and treatment of patients to reduce stress and waiting time. For example, a 64-view CT scanner and two radiological suites are located within the center so patients can be assessed without being transported to other areas of the hospital, speeding the process from one treatment to the next.

Other hospital features include:

  • A new surgery center with 10 expansive high-tech surgery suites, including specialized designs for orthopaedics, cardiac surgery, neuro-trauma and transplantation
  • 48 intensive care beds, 126 intermediate care beds and 160 acute care beds
  • A redesigned and enhanced interventional radiology unit, with three radiology suites, and cardiac catheterization labs that include fully digital equipment providing the latest in diagnostic and interventional cardiology
  • Full implementation of electronic medical records (EMR), making Sharp Memorial Sharp's first
  • "paper-light" hospital
  • A new main entrance and lobby as well as enhanced admitting and scheduling areas

The Stephen Birch Healthcare Center at the new Sharp Memorial Hospital will hold a community open house from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 10, and begin receiving patients the week of Jan. 14 as staff transfers current patients from the campus's existing tower.

The Sharp Metropolitan Medical Campus

As the region's single largest health care provider, Sharp Metropolitan Medical Campus is committed to caring for San Diegans and the ones they love, offering a complete range of specialty hospitals and medical services in one convenient location. The centrally located campus is home to Sharp Memorial Hospital, Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women, Sharp Memorial Hospital Rehabilitation Center, Sharp Mesa Vista Hospital and Sharp Memorial Outpatient Pavilion. Superior care is also provided at Sharp Vista Pacifica Chemical Dependency Recovery Hospital in Linda Vista. More than 1,000 physicians on the medical staff and 3,800 employees support these entities.

Sharp Memorial Hospital, which first opened its doors in 1955, is part of Sharp HealthCare, San Diego's most comprehensive health care delivery system, recognized for clinical excellence in cardiac care, women's services, cancer, orthopaedics, multi-organ transplants, rehabilitation and behavioral health services. To learn more about Sharp, visit

NOTE: Photos and video footage of the new Sharp Memorial Hospital can be viewed at

SOURCE Sharp Memorial Hospital
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