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Feature Story

Kaiser Permanente Santa Clara Medical Center Opens

August 9, 2007

Kaiser Permanente’s Santa Clara Medical Center (Calif.) opened Tuesday, Aug. 7, with a carefully managed move of members and employees marking the opening of inpatient services and the emergency department. A caravan of ambulances carried patients.

The new campus, at Lawrence Expressway and Homestead Road (Google Map), replaces a 40-year-old facility about one mile away and serves Kaiser Permanente members in a large portion of Silicon Valley. It is the largest single construction project in Kaiser Permanente’s history, and believed to be the second-largest health care construction project in California. The campus, with 1.26 million square feet, is about twice the size of the facility it replaced.

The 52-acre Homestead campus integrates inpatient and outpatient facilities and features private patient rooms in 95 percent of the 327-bed hospital. Soothing colors and natural light from interior courtyards brighten the environment. Other key features include:

  • A regional pediatrics specialty center for Northern California with a 26-bed neonatal intensive care unit and an eight-bed pediatric intensive care unit. The unit also has 12 labor and delivery rooms and 28 private rooms for postpartum mothers
  • An emergency department with 26 emergency treatment rooms and six minor injury rooms. A 14-bed Clinical Decision Unit is adjacent to the emergency department.
  • Spacious nursing units with convertible lounges for visitors and family members to overnight with patients, kitchenettes for food preparation, private baths, and flat-screen TV-DVD players in all rooms.
  • Private rooms limit spread of infections and separate medication preparation rooms for staff enhance patient safety.

The medical center’s design features the latest in hospital construction technologies and furnishings. Equipment and oxygen tanks are hidden behind wall panels or inside cabinetry, large windows let in natural light, and flat-screen TVs and computers provide connections with the outside world. The new hospital is protected by an “unbonded brace frame” structure – used for the first time in a hospital in the United States – which would act as a strong shock absorber in an earthquake.

Numerous media outlets covered the facility’s opening on Tuesday, Aug. 7, which featured the movement of about 100 patients from the old facility.

While the Santa Clara Medical Center is Kaiser Permanente’s largest construction project this year, it is far from the only one. Medical centers in Antioch (Contra Costa County), Panorama City (Los Angeles County) and West Los Angeles are scheduled to open later this year. In Oregon, a major portion of a multi-year expansion of Kaiser Sunnyside Medical Center in Clackamas opened Aug. 1. Medical office buildings in Buford and Stonecrest, Georgia, also are expected to open later this year.

For more about the Santa Clara Medical Center campus, view the facility’s web site.