Offering the Latest in Patient Care and Technology

November 03, 2017

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — The newest building of The University of Kansas Health System Campus brings leading-edge design and innovative technology along with 92 new beds and 11 operating rooms to serve local, regional and national patients.

Cambridge Tower A has patient-friendly features throughout designed to make healthcare better, safer and more comfortable. It is located off 39th and Cambridge Street, one block west of State Line Road. A 2,000-space parking garage accompanies the building.

Cambridge Tower A will house neurosciences, surgical oncology and ear, nose and throat programs.

Health system executives say the project was necessitated by patient growth, fueled in part by its growing national reputation.

“We have become a destination facility for patients across the country,” said Bob Page, president and chief executive officer of The University of Kansas Health System. “In order to accommodate that demand, we had to increase our capacity by adding more beds and operating rooms.”

“When people are incredibly sick, the sickest of the sick, they head to an academic medical center. I believe our obligation is to create capacity so this population can access the advanced medicine they need for their care.”

Among the advanced medicine enhancements is the first iMRI in the region, which gives neurosurgeons access to powerful high-resolution scans of brain tissue mid-procedure from a room next door to their operating rooms. By adjusting treatment during a procedure, neurosurgeons can achieve a more complete removal of a tumor or diseased tissue, which gives the patient the best possible chance for a good outcome.

The tower was designed to help clinicians provide the safest, most efficient care possible. For example, the ceiling in patient rooms can accommodate lifting devices to assist patients in getting out of bed safely, which helps reduce falls and protects staff from lifting injuries.

Other design features cut down on the number of steps to reach the patient and to reach supplies. The design is also very friendly to future technology. Each room is capable of upgrades to accommodate the next generation of equipment. Patient rooms were designed to prioritize patient and family comfort and convenience with separate zones for patient, family and caregiver. Rooms feature a sleeper sofa, charging station and reading light.

“These units were really designed by our care teams of doctors, nurses and other caregivers,” said Tammy Peterman, executive vice president, chief operating officer and chief nursing officer. “We built full mock-ups of patient rooms. Our staff went through the mock-ups to look at everything from where the electrical outlets were on the wall to where the equipment was placed to where the bathroom was positioned. We made changes based on what the staff thought would be best. It’s a process we’ve used successfully in other campus buildings.”

Peterman said another notable feature of Cambridge Tower A is art. More than 75 pieces of original artwork created by local, national and international artists are located through the building, thanks to the generosity of donors.

“The art is calming, soothing and peaceful for patients, visitors and staff,” said Peterman. “There is also natural light throughout the building, something care teams are already enthusiastic about.”

The tower’s food services include made-to-order meals, a pizza oven and smoothies. A family waiting area includes work spaces and charging stations.

A two-level pedestrian bridge links Cambridge Tower A to the main hospital and the Center for Advanced Heart Care. One level is for patients and staff only, and one level is for the public.

The tower incorporates durable and sustainable materials. The terrazzo floors in the lobby are expected to last at least 75 years. Sustainable features include green roofs and onsite water detention. A significant investment was made in landscape improvements, including art work and green space as a buffer to State Line Road.

The tower will open in phases, with the first seven level section receiving patients on November 7th. The 11th level opens in spring 2018. Three floors of shell space in the second phase will be used for future expansion.

When finished, the building will have 558,570 square feet of space and stand 286 feet tall. The total cost will be $360 million.

Canon Design was the architect and J.E. Dunn was the contractor.

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