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How Orlando Health’s new patient tower could lead to fewer infections


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Orlando Health will start seeing patients January 26 at a brand new tower.

Orlando health’s new tower boasts more natural light, bigger rooms and more space for families.

But it’s not just about appearances. Other improvements could help to reduce potentially deadly infections patients can get in hospital.

Vascular surgeon Jon Wesley said the goal is zero infections. He points to all-private rooms with sinks for hand-washing that can help.

“So anything we can do extra, even though I think we’ve done a good job in the floors we were in before, I think we’ll do a better job here,” Wesley said. “That’s the hope. And certainly this sets us up. The proof will be in what our numbers look like.”

75,000 people die each year from hospital acquired infections in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control.

The tower has 245 private beds. It’s part of a $297 million dollar expansion project.

“The next phase will open up in about a month and a half, and that’s an expansion of our emergency department, so we’re going to be increasing or capacity there by about a third, we’re also going to be adding new operating rooms and a cardiovascular diagnostic areas,” said Mark Jones, president of Orlando Regional Medical Center. “So that comes online very soon.”

The project provided work for more 5,600 construction workers. See below for a closer look at the hospital:

Mark Jones, president of Orlando Regional Medical Center, said the hospital expansion is part of a $297 million project that includes updates to the emergency department.
The curve of the tower is to mimic water, but it serves more than just a design aesthetic. Curved hallways make it easier for nurses to see more doors from a single location.
In addition to being bigger and having more family areas, many of the hospital rooms have lifts put into the ceiling to help move patients.
Outside, Van Nelson, manager for inpatient rehab, and Christen Stewart, rehab supervisor show off the rehab garden. It's an outdoor space for patients who are new to wheelchairs or are recovering from surgery.

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Abe Aboraya

About Abe Aboraya

Health Reporter

Abe Aboraya started writing for newspapers in High School. After graduating from the University of Central Florida in 2007, he spent a year traveling and working as a freelance reporter for the Seattle Times and the Seattle Weekly, and working for local news websites in the San Francisco Bay area. Most recently Abe ... Read Full Bio »

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