Mercer Island

Swedish/Issaquah opens doors on Tuesday

Swedish/Issaquah opens doors on Tuesday
The center offers shopping, gifts, kids' stuff and even hourly childcare.

When Phase II of Swedish/Issaquah opens to the public on Tuesday at 7:00 a.m., the largest community in the state of 100,000 residents or so that did not have a hospital will boast the first hospital to be built in King County from the ground up in 25 years.

Completed four months early and built $30 million under budget, the 550,000 square-foot campus will open 80 inpatient beds, all inpatient surgical facilities, ICUs, labor & delivery, postpartum rooms, pediatric and childlife centers.

"We are taking bets on how fast the beds will be filled," said Kevin Brown, senior vice president and chief administrative officer, who explained that over time the hospital will eventually include 175 beds as patient volumes grow.

Phase I, opened in July included the medical office building housing, primary and specialty care clinics, a full-service emergency department, pharmacy, laboratory, imaging center and eight retail stores.

As anticipated from the start, Swedish/Issaquah has attracted customers from throughout the Eastside and along the I-90 Corridor. Building on the reputation of its sister clinics in areas such as Issaquah, Renton and Northgate, the new hospital's ERE room promises it can get patients in and out within 90-minutes.

"You can see we have no waiting room," said John Milne, vice president for medical affairs, Board Certified Emergency Physician. "The busier we get, the more efficient we get."

Some of the features that distinguish the new hospital include: all 80 rooms are private with a pullout bed for family, safety-designed bathrooms, lots of natural light, open spaces, privacy and a goal to insure quiet. In addition, Issaquah/Swedish benefits from the Swedish Electronic Intensive Care Unit hub that allows physicians and staff to use remote monitoring for a spot consult 24/7.

Brown noted that Swedish/Issaquah not only features the latest medical technology, the staff embraces a culture of mutual consideration. "During this ultimate teachable moment, we held a three-day cultural immersion workshop in which we discussed how to give our customers (patient, family & friends) and one another the best possible care."

Nurse Executive Marilyn Nemerever RN added that the hospital is designed to be a community asset, even a destination.

"We issue a warm welcome and a non-clinical presentation so people will feel comfortable and come here to shop, dine at our new café or attend a meeting in our gathering spaces," said Nemerever. "Instead of communicating a cold, threatening atmosphere, we want customers to know us as a familiar, safe place because that feeling will help with the healing process."