Welcome to Parkview Regional Medical Center

By Max Resnik

February 28, 2012 Updated Feb 28, 2012 at 7:27 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana’s NewsCenter) – Members of the media were given the chance to tour Parkview Regional Medical Center just a few weeks before it officially opens March 17.

Parkview Regional Medical Center will serve as the new hub for Parkview Health and covers more than 1 million square feet and is the result of $550 million in investments. The new medical center is focused on creating a more efficient atmosphere for both medical staff and patients. Private smart rooms, 446 in total, are outfitted with nurse tracking and call systems that allow healthcare professionals to be located and signaled when needed. Smart rooms also have over-bed lifts that allow patients to be moved in and out of their beds safely. Finally, smart rooms also have swinging boom arms that come down from the ceiling to keep equipment off of the floor.

The beds within the rooms are smart too. They are equipped with scales to weigh patients, are able to detect side rail positions and the height of the bed and are furnished with therapeutic mattresses.

Before those beds can be filled and before the medical center is fully operational, approximately 80 patients from Parkview’s Randallia campus will need to be transported to Parkview Regional Medical Center. Parkview’s Chief Medical Officer, Greg Johnson, D.O., says a plan to make the move easy for medical professionals and patients has been in the works for two years.

“As the patients are assessed at Randallia, the decision's made by their physician that they are capable of moving and that their condition allows that. They'll be transported with a nurse as well as EMT technicians, and it'll be a one on one nursing to patient ratio that day.”

Johnson says critical care patients like those in intensive care will also be given the proper medical personnel in addition to the nurse and EMT. Johnson says a safe transport is dependent upon creating a controlled environment that accounts for the full spectrum of a patient’s needs.

“Controlled means that all of their needs are met and that they will not have unexpected needs during the transfer, whether it be a medication administration [or something else]. We need to make sure they’re stable from the standpoint of their hemodynamics: their blood pressure and heart rates. And that there are no immediate active problems that require attention in a more controlled environment than in the back of the ambulance.”

Johnson says nurses and EMTs have performed mock transfers and believes Parkview Health will use most of Saturday, March 17 to complete the transfers which begin at 8 a.m. He says not only is the emphasis on leaving Randallia, it is also on arriving at Parkview Regional Medical Center.

Parkview’s Chief Operating Officer, Sue Ehinger, says Parkview’s new hub sends a national message about the importance of community healthcare.

“To be able to bring leading practices into our community, efficiency of care, the overall quality of care improvement and to actually have a facility built upon wellness is just an incredible opportunity. I think it's going to bring a national look into what Parkview Health does in improving the health of the community."

Patients and their families will also see 22 robots roaming hospital floors that are able to deliver food, medicine, linens, supplies and other equipment. They work wirelessly down hallways and in and out of elevators and are equipped to stop if they sense an object or individual in their path.

In addition to upgrades in technology that benefit both patients and healthcare professionals, the new medical center will also have a full range restaurant that Parkview officials hope will be utilized by the greater Fort Wayne community.

Before patients from Parkview Randallia begin arriving at Parkview Regional Medical Center, the emergency room at PRMC will officially open at 7 a.m. on March 17.

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