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SEATTLE – (Sept. 11, 2014) –Virginia Mason opened its new 28-bed Critical Care Unit in the Floyd & Delores Jones Pavilion on Sept. 7, and this milestone will be followed over the next three weeks by openings of the hospital’s high-tech, patient-focused Surgery Center and Oncology Unit.

  • Monday, Sept. 22: The new 10-operating room Surgery Center opens on Level 3 of the Jones Pavilion.
  • Sunday, Oct. 5: The new 23-bed Oncology Unit opens on Level 18 of the Jones Pavilion.

“We’ve always envisioned the Jones Pavilion as a facility unlike any other in health care,” said Virginia Mason Chairman and CEO Gary S. Kaplan, MD. “These new floors further deliver on that vision.”

Surgery Center

Every detail of the Surgery Center was tested through case simulations in full-scale mockups and a design process that included surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurses and technicians working with the design and construction teams.

The center features a state-of-the-art hybrid operating room (OR) that combines traditional surgical techniques with advanced imaging technology. Featuring a completely mobile, precision 3D imaging machine, the hybrid OR will support minimally invasive therapies and open-surgery procedures. 

“Large split screens in the hybrid OR show a patient’s scans, records and diagnostics, as well as 3D graphics for optimal visualization of the surgical field,” said Kester Verdadero, surgery manager. 

Design of the hybrid OR was guided by physicians, nurses and technicians from vascular surgery, cardiology, cardiothoracic surgery, interventional radiology and anesthesiology using principles of the Virginia Mason Production System (VMPS).

The innovative OR allows these specialties to work side-by-side in the same room performing combined procedures, so patients spend less time in surgery and risk fewer complications. For high-risk patients who undergo catheter-based procedures, the medical team can quickly convert to an open procedure if needed, eliminating treatment delays when every minute counts.

Advanced Imaging Allows Breakthrough TAVR Treatment

The advanced imaging capability of the hybrid OR will enable a breakthrough treatment not previously performed at Virginia Mason: transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR). In a TAVR procedure, a patient receives a complete heart valve replacement inserted by a catheter through the femoral artery in the leg or a small incision in the chest.

“TAVR is a less invasive way to replace the aortic valve, without open-heart surgery,” said cardiologist Drew Baldwin, MD. “Patients with aortic stenosis often are elderly and have other medical problems. These patients may be at high risk for complications if they have open-heart surgery to replace the aortic valve, so TAVR may be a better option for them.”

The benefits of TAVR for patients include shorter hospital stays and a faster recovery. Open-valve replacements can require up to three weeks in the hospital, while TAVR patients can recover in a fraction of that time. Patients not previously candidates for open surgery can now access life-saving treatment, thanks to the high-precision imaging and sterile surgical environment of the hybrid OR.

The Surgery Center also includes six private bays where patients prepare for surgery. The bays’ design allows patients’ loved ones to remain comfortably at their side until it’s time to be moved into the operating room. 

Critical Care and Oncology Units

The new Critical Care and Oncology units reflect months-long design and planning processes using VMPS methods that involved Virginia Mason physicians, nurses and other team members; current and former patients; and members of the design and construction teams.  

Nurses in both units will be assigned to “care zones” to maximize their observation of patients, decrease wasted motion and increase the amount of time patients receive care at their bedside. Each room is designed for one patient and includes ample space, plus a daybed that converts to an overnight bed, for family and other visitors.

All necessary electrical outlets and medical equipment access points are located at the head of the bed in each room. Putting these tools at the point-of-use eliminates waste of motion by the clinical team. Also, patient rooms include pass-through cabinets so supplies can be serviced and restocked from outside, decreasing the number of team members who need to enter the room. This also reduces unnecessary steps by nurses, who can remain in the rooms with their patients and still conveniently access needed supplies.

Nurses and other clinicians use voice-activated, hands-free devices to communicate quickly and quietly with each other. This ensures caregivers are connected no matter where they are on the floor and preserves the noise-free, healing environment of the care space. 

The Critical Care Unit and Oncology Unit replace older inpatient units and do not increase the hospital’s number of licensed beds. Together, the new Critical Care Unit, Oncology Unit and Surgery Center occupy 106,000 square feet in the Jones Pavilion. The architects were TGB Architects and ZGF Architects LLP. The general contractors were Turner Construction Co. and Skanska USA, with MacDonald-Miller, SASCO Electric and VECA Electric as significant subcontractors.

The Floyd & Delores Jones Pavilion, which is connected to Virginia Mason Hospital’s Central Pavilion, opened in 2011. Other patient services in the Jones Pavilion include the Emergency Department; Inpatient Orthopedics Unit; and the Integrated Procedural Unit where physicians from the Digestive Disease Institute at Virginia Mason treat patients.

About Virginia Mason
Virginia Mason, founded in 1920, is a nonprofit regional health care system in Seattle that serves the Pacific Northwest. Virginia Mason employs 6,000 people and includes a 336-bed acute-care hospital; a primary and specialty care group practice of more than 460 physicians; regional medical centers throughout the Puget Sound area; and Bailey-Boushay House, the first skilled-nursing and outpatient chronic care management program in the U.S. designed and built specifically to meet the needs of people with HIV/AIDS. Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason is internationally recognized for its breakthrough autoimmune disease research. Virginia Mason was the first health system to apply lean manufacturing principles to health care delivery to eliminate waste, lower cost, and improve quality and patient safety. Virginia Mason website:

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Media Contact:
Gale Robinette
Virginia Mason Media Relations
(206) 341-1509

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