Here come the robots...

James Forryan
Thursday 30 Apr 2009

L.A. hospital looks to the future

The North Critical Care Tower at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center is a 250,000 s.f. replacement hospital, which consolidates all adult critical care services into one state-of-the-art facility and supports safe, efficient and technologically sophisticated patient care. The project includes 72 intensive care unit beds, a 48 bed direct observation unit, 30 acute care beds, and space for future expansion.

Patient care is enhanced by several innovative features. The tower was designed with patient rooms containing identical floor plans – not “mirror image” plans as in most hospitals. This was done to increase staff efficiency, with every piece of equipment and every control located in the same position in each room.

The building has several features designed to reduce wait time and multiple transfers of the hospital’s most fragile patients, such as high-speed elevators, motorised beds, onsite pharmacy and X-ray capabilities, and 30 universal monitored beds that allow for direct admission of very sick patients by their own doctors, bypassing the most common path of critical care admission, the emergency room.

A fully automated robotic transport system of 28 computer-directed cars delivers and removes laundry, medical supplies and other materials. The cars, each of which can carry 850 pounds, operate 24 hours a day, saving many hours of staff time. The cars can run at up to 2.5 miles per hour for 5 continuous hours after charging for only 40 minutes.

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