The new year will bring transformative changes to Chester County Hospital’s campus -- all geared toward creating an even better care experience for you, your families, friends, and neighbors.
On Monday, January 27, 2020, Chester County Hospital will open the doors of our new Pavilion. This landmark construction project, the largest in our history, is the next step in making sure that you and your families can access the most advanced care close to home whenever possible. We invite you to follow along with us as we open each new floor over the coming months. By May 2020, Chester County Hospital will be the largest hospital in the county.
The core of the facility is the Procedural Suite featuring 15 operating rooms sized for the needs of today's surgical teams and the advanced technology and equipment that modern surgery requires. Just as important are 99 large, private rooms—built to mirror the standard set by the Lasko Tower, completed in 2014 -- that give our patients comfortable, light-filled spaces to heal while surrounded by clinical caregivers, team members and family members.
"The new facility will allow us to get into a level of care that is unique to the suburbs," says Michael J. Duncan, President and CEO. “We can offer more high-tech, high-intensity services and care for 90 percent of community members right here. But when a patient is best served by going into the city, the shared Penn Medicine electronic health record allows for seamless care."
Here’s What You Can Expect in the Coming Months…
January 2020: New Main Entryway and Ground Floor
On January 27, the temporary hospital entrance at the crossing of East Marshall Street and Convent Lane will relocate to the new main entrance at the intersection of East Marshall Street and Montgomery Avenue. The entry court, which will host the hospital’s free valet service, is directly across from the parking garage. Look out for updated signage to direct you.
From the entry court, patients and family members will have access not only to the new Pavilion but also to all areas of the existing hospital. Those in need of emergency care should continue to use the Emergency Department entrance and dedicated lots along East Marshall Street. When reporting for your procedure, you’ll still go to the Ambulatory Care Center located at the East Entrance, until the new Procedural Suite is fully operational later this spring.
At the hospital’s new main entrance, beautiful glass doors will lead you into a spacious yet intimate entryway. There will be a reception desk with a Security Officer, Red Coat Ambassadors and an Information Desk Volunteer to direct you. You’ll notice the light-filled Knauer Family Lobby with plenty of comfortable seating. Just to the right of the reception desk, you’ll see the Abbott Family Courtyard, a glass-enclosed, open-air outdoor space featuring trees, greenery, and tables and chairs. Indoors and out, glass walls, rich woods, and stone details such as basalt and onyx will create a warm, natural environment.
Adjacent to the lobby is our new Pre-Procedure Testing area, which offers heart and vascular screening, pulmonary function testing, and other tests you might need before surgery or another medical procedure. Other amenities include The Women’s Auxiliary Gift Shop and the Chester County Hospital Outpatient Pharmacy, where all community members—not just hospital patients—can have prescriptions filled. There is also a Bistro serving Starbucks coffee, other drinks, and prepackaged sandwiches and snacks.
From this main entryway and the elevator bank beyond, you’ll be able to access any area of Chester County Hospital. Initially, surgeries will continue to take place in the existing hospital, so pay attention to the written instructions you receive from your treatment team or scheduler regarding the exact location of your surgery. Our volunteers will be available to help you find your way.
"People love Chester County because of the natural beauty. That was part of the idea behind having lots of natural light and interior courtyards. Almost any window you look out, you are looking at nature. It’s a healing structure with lots of places to sit and enjoy the view and have some privacy. That aesthetic was important to us."
–Michael J. Duncan
Early Spring 2020: Emergency Department Expansion, First Floor
The Emergency Department (ED), located on the first floor of the hospital, will begin its own transformation in early spring 2020. When you enter the ED from its designated parking lot, you'll notice enhanced security measures, including more security staff, a metal detector, and x-ray bag screening. The process will be quick and seamless so that patients can get to the care they need. In light of recent tragic events happening in public spaces throughout our country -—including hospitals and healthcare facilities -- we thought it was important to add these precautionary measures. This change also has the full endorsement of the hospital’s Patient and Family Advisory Council, a consulting group made up of current and former patients and patient family members. Our foremost goal is to keep you and your family members safe and to ensure that, once inside, our staff can focus their full attention on addressing whatever health concern brought you to the ED.
You'll walk into a beautiful new light-filled space with comfortable waiting areas, triage stations, and nine new private patient rooms with sliding glass doors. Portions of the existing ED will still be in use, but over the next 22 months, we will be renovating it in phases to reflect the standard set by the ED expansion. Eventually we will have 43 private rooms -- versus our current 32 -- to better meet community demand. The ED will have a dedicated elevator and staircase that connect to the Knauer Family Lobby, allowing loved ones to access the Bistro, Gift Shop, Outpatient Pharmacy, and courtyard.
For patients who require surgery or some other intervention, the new Procedural Suite will be just down the hall from the ED. We’ll also be adding a rooftop helipad to allow us to quickly airlift any patient who requires additional care at Penn Medicine hospitals in Philadelphia.
Look out for the next issue of Synapse, which features a more detailed look at the hospital's plans to transform the ED by the end of 2021.
Late Spring 2020: New Procedural Suite
In late spring 2020, the hospital will begin welcoming patients into the new Procedural Suite on the Pavilion’s first floor, with 15 new operating rooms, a post-anesthesia care unit, and new Prep/Recovery areas. The Prep/Recovery areas are intentionally sized to be more spacious and more private.
The Suite will revolutionize the surgical experience for our care teams, patients, and families. Larger ORs will promote more seamless teamwork and accommodate today’s advanced technology, including robotic assistance, equipment mounted on overhead booms, imaging, and multiple 70-inch monitors that help the team visualize the procedure, share real-time information about the patient, and collaborate more effectively. One room will be a hybrid OR, an advanced procedural space that combines a traditional operating room with an image-guided interventional suite. This allows teams from different disciplines to work together as they perform highly complex, advanced surgical procedures.
Three rooms will be designated for cardiac catheterization (diagnosing and opening blocked vessels) and electrophysiology (correcting problems with the heart’s electrical activity), with two additional cardiovascular ORs across the hall for more extensive procedures. Their proximity is intentional so that our heart specialists can collaborate more easily. The remaining 10 ORs are similarly laid out and grouped by specialty, enhancing process flow and collaboration.
"More computers, more technology, more imaging, more people create the need for more space," notes Duncan. "The hospital is adding new surgical disciplines on a regular basis, and now we have the room we need to grow for our community."
Family members and friends can wait in a light-filled lounge that features a variety of seating and stations for charging laptops, phones, and tablets. There also will be private areas where loved ones can meet with members of the surgical team.
Late Spring 2020: New Patient Tower
As the Procedural Suite opens, the Pavilion’s Patient Tower will begin caring for patients. On the second floor will be a new Intensive Care Unit with 24 rooms, versus the existing unit’s 14, for patients who need round-the-clock intensive care. Each room has a large panel of windows facing either the landscaped entry court or a new green roof -- the hospital's second -- which contributed to the facility’s LEED Silver green building certification. Research suggests that natural light and green views can improve mental health and alertness and reduce stress for patients, visitors, and care team members.
As floors 3, 4, and 5 open, they will provide all private rooms for patients formerly cared for in the Hospital's semi-private west wing units. Here too you’ll notice large windows with expansive views of the green roof and surrounding area, both in the rooms themselves, the dedicated seating areas outside each bank of elevators, and the family lounges at the end of every floor. Each room has a bathroom with a European-style curbless shower and an overhead bed lift to make lifting patients safer and more comfortable. The end result will be 99 new private patient rooms, bringing Chester County Hospital’s licensed bed capacity from 248 to 301.
Exciting changes are coming, but what will not change is what President and CEO Michael J. Duncan calls our "secret sauce": The Culture at Chester County Hospital.
"We will have a facility that matches our reputation and allows us to grow, but we believe our culture is our strategic advantage, and we are focused on taking our culture into the new space," he says. "It's designed it to provide an intimate, personal, healing experience, and I am thrilled for the members of this community. I’m also excited to see employees who have been with us for 25, 30, or even 40 or more years move into this new facility."