Chandler Regional opens new tower for trauma program - East Valley Tribune: Chandler

Chandler Regional opens new tower for trauma program

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Posted: Sunday, August 24, 2014 10:30 am | Updated: 3:18 pm, Wed Aug 27, 2014.

Chandler Regional Medical Center will now be able to better serve the most critically injured patients in the East Valley.

The new five-story, 96-bed, $125 million Tower C includes four state-of-the-art trauma bays, two helipads and six new operating rooms.

Chandler Regional Medical Center was designated a Level I trauma center in March 2014, meaning it now serves the severest of injuries.

“We’ve brought in a lot of rooms, spaces, equipment to support the trauma program,” said Tim Bricker, president and CEO of Chandler Regional and Mercy Gilbert medical centers. “This is the place where the most critically injured patients in the hospital will come.”

In addition to the trauma center, Tower C includes an expanded, 32-bed intensive care unit.

Bricker said the unit is divided into zones to deal with different types of medical situations.

“It’s a general intensive care unit where we can take care of a whole variety of patients that need critical care,” Bricker said. “That includes trauma patients. That includes severely ill patients that may not have an injury but have an illness that requires a prolonged stay with the most intensive care.”

As the population of the East Valley continues to grow, so too does the need for Chandler Regional to expand its facilities.

Bricker said the hospital uses a measure known as Average Daily Census to calculate how full the hospital is and said that roughly a third of the days the hospital is overfull, which leads to longer waits in the emergency room.

“We just have more patients than we do beds and that’s been going on for a couple of years,” Bricker said.

Bricker added: “One area where we’ve had particular capacity problems is in the critical care unit. So, we have a 12-bed ICU now with patients overflowing to other areas of the hospital and so with the new 32-bed intensive care unit, we’ll be able to accommodate all of those patients in one place.”

With the expanded facilities, more staffers are needed to serve the increased number of patients Tower C will accommodate.

The tower will add more than 200 new jobs to Chandler Regional, approximately half of which will be nurses, Bricker said.

Overall, the expansion of the hospital better allows it to take care of its patients.

“The development of Tower C represents growth to meet growing demands of the community,” Bricker said. “One thing we’re doing is just expanding our capacity so that people can get services close to home. They don’t have to wait.”

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