Banner Health University Medical Center Phoenix’s campus is undergoing a significant transformation.

In June 2017, the academic medical center opened a new 293,120-square-foot, three-story emergency trauma center and, in November 2018, a 372,476-square-foot, 17-story replacement patient tower opened to patients atop the trauma center, which was constructed to serve as the bed tower podium.

A new outpatient cancer center, expected to open in 2019, is also under construction. Project team members from Banner Health, DPR Construction, and HKS Architects, Inc. led attendees on a tour of the emergency trauma center at the 2018 HCD Expo & Conference, being held in Phoenix, Nov. 9-12.

The new department features 64 private exam rooms in three pods along a linear layout with staff functions located in the center core to foster collaboration and efficiency. The three pods work together, and when volume is low, services and staff can be concentrated into one of the pods to further increase efficiency.

Eight trauma bays, four operating rooms, and an imaging department (including two CT rooms, two X-ray rooms, and an ultrasound room) between the trauma and resuscitation areas are also included in the new unit.

As one of area’s trauma 1 centers, the new unit is also equipped with the latest design features to support disaster preparedness:

  • The trauma suite houses 6 bays in an open setting and can flex to fit more
  • The ED houses six isolation rooms and one infectious isolation room, which includes a three-room set-up with an ante room and a post room. “It’s a simple concept but not many hospitals have them,” says Dave Vincent at HKS.
  • Universal patient rooms have been designed with features to change from single occupancy to double occupancy in a disaster.
  • The 10-bay ambulance area can be converted into a decontainment area
  • A new helipad is designed to fit two choppers and can support Marine One. An elevator provides direct access from the helipad to the trauma suite in the ED or the OR suite on the second floor.

Since opening the new trauma unit, the medical center has seen patient volume increase from approximately 56,000 visits a year to an estimated 70,000 in 2018. Project planning also focused on accommodating future growth with space to add another pod of exam rooms and staff space, which would increase the center’s capacity to 100,000 patient visits a year. One of the most important outcomes of the new unit: “There are not hall beds,” Vincent says.