Kaiser Permanente is opening a new medical center hub on Capitol Hill today. This five-level, state-of- the-art facility showcases advanced technology, a 24/7 health care center, and new services. The Capitol Hill Medical Center demonstrates how coordinating health care and leveraging the power of advanced technologies allow physicians to excel.
The plan of developing the center was established about three years ago, according to Local 400 member Executive Board member Jaki Bradley, a Kaiser registered nurse who is a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve and commander of the U.S. Army’s 7202nd Medical Support Unit. Bradley is one of 10 members on the Transition Team, lead by Heidi Veltman. The Transition Team’s role is to assist the managers making a seamless move from the older facility on North Capitol St. to the new center at 700 Second St., NE.
In the early stages, the team focused their energies on how to set up patient areas and how all 200,000 square-feet looked as a whole. For example, the team chose what type of furniture would be used in accordance with the total health environment of the facility and what equipment was needed to be replaced or added for safety purposes.
“The Kaiser branding is all about making the patient’s experience a pleasant and positive one,” said Bradley. “It’s less sterile looking than the typical health care facility that you generally see; it’s warm and inviting.”
Not only is the design esthetically-pleasing, it’s also functional. There are blue tube lights in the ceiling to guide patients to the nearest reception area or an exit and tan lines in the carpeting throughout the main hallways guiding patients to the nearest map kiosk. The maps are bilingual and interactive to help steer patients in the right direction. Touching any place on the interactive map will allow the patient to view the directions to the desired location in the medical center, as well as offer the option to print them right away.
The facility also provides several complimentary Internet workstations throughout for patients to schedule their next appointment, sign up for kp.org, and check e-mail. For the staff at the facility, there are “enunciators” built into the wall that are tone coded so others working on the floor are notified when a fellow staff member needs assistance.
There are seven new services that Kaiser hasn’t provided in the past that the Capitol Hill hub will now host–occupational services, speech therapy, nuclear medicine, nuclear cardiology, blood transfusion, peritoneal dialysis, and PET scan, the only scan of its type in the region. On the ground level floor right off of one of two lobbies there is a full rehabilitation center complete with Wii gaming system to increase fine motor skills. In addition to the PET scan, the radiology department now has a CAT scan and MRI. Having these new services and technologies allows Kaiser to keep its members under one roof.
“The goal with having these hubs is to take care of the total patient and not sending anyone out,” said Bradley. “We want to keep patients in house because that’s how Kaiser stays viable.”
Kaiser Permanente Capitol Hill Medical Center
By the numbers:
- 92 new positions were added
- 21 rooms in the 24/7 department. The 24/7 department is located off the lower level and provides patients in need of urgent care
- 5 hubs are going to be opening in the Mid-Atlantic region to provide every service under one roof.
- 202-346-3000 is the main phone number of the Medical center
- 7 HEPA filters through out the building to continue to circulate quality, clean, healthy, non-allergenic air
- 1 ATM is located on the lower level lobby