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Harrison to break ground on Orthopedic Hospital

Harrison Medical Center will break ground this spring on a three-story orthopedics hospital at its Silverdale campus. The $25 million facility, which will be built in two phases, will include 24 private patient rooms, four operating rooms and shelled-in space on the third floor for a second-phase expansion.

The hospital will be under Harrison ownership while being operated by a consortium of participating orthopedic surgeons from WestSound Orthopaedics, The Doctors Clinic and Peninsula Orthopaedics.

“The new management model will be very helpful. It takes people who work at the facility and have a vested interest in making it successful, and gives them control over the management of the facility,” said Dr. Bradley Watters, an orthopedic surgeon with WestSound Orthopaedics who has been involved with Harrison’s orthopedic strategy. “We’re excited to work at the management level with staff and the physicians.”

Watters said there’s an increased need for orthopedic services in Kitsap County and a growing number of patients who need hip replacement and other types of surgery. The new hospital’s specialty operating rooms and the design of the flow will allow surgeons to work more efficiently and take on more cases — he estimates as much as doubling in the number of cases per day.

“My biggest limitation to do the number of cases is the number of rooms to do them in,” said Watters, who performs a large number of hip replacements and other joint surgeries. “The demand is going up and up, and the only way to address it is by having a facility for it.”

In addition to providing more space for specialty equipment, the new hospital will address another critical need, private patient rooms, according to Bob Cross, Harrison’s executive director of strategic development.

“This is the first major step for Harrison to migrate to private rooms from semi-private rooms,” he said. “The rooms will be built to the very latest in technology in terms of patient safety and accessibility. They certainly will be the most family-friendly rooms (at Harrison).”

The orthopedic hospital, which will be adjacent to the north wing of the hospital at Myhre and Ridgetop, is part of a $35 million expansion plan approved by the Harrison Medical Center’s board of directors in January 2011. The plan includes the renovation of the emergency department and a new data center.

“We’re still evaluating the best options for us (for the emergency department),” Cross said. “We have the authorization from the board to spend the money, we just want to make sure we spend it wisely and that we time everything right.”

He said the changes in emergency services use, along with uncertainties related to the implementation of health care reform, would impact future needs. “We keep analyzing and reviewing everything so when we are ready, we have the most current information,” Cross said.

Another part of the expansion plan is the consolidation of administrative services. Some support departments have already been moved to a building off Wheaton Way in Bremerton as well as other leased spaces under an ongoing, phased-in plan. Although functions such as finance and strategic planning will be moved to the new building, the administration including CEO Scott Bosch will continue to be based at the Bremerton campus.

“It’s important that the executive team is as visible as possible,” Cross said. “They touch base with the delivery-of-care team regularly to make sure we’re doing what we need to improve operations, and they don’t want to lose that.”

The orthopedic hospital, which was recently approved for a conditional use permit by the Kitsap County hearing examiner, is anticipated to open by fall 2013.

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